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Drought Intensifies for Western Colorado, Slight Improvement for Southeast

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Despite a series of storms over the previous weekin eastern Colorado, only slight improvements in drought conditions were noted, mainly in Prowers and Baca counties, while drought intensified in western Colorado.

Central and western Prowers County saw extreme drought withdraw to just portions of the northwest and southwest corners, while severe drought retreated to the center of the county.

Storms Returning to the Eastern Plains Sunday, Flood Watch for Southeast Counties

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Another day of severe weather is in store for the eastern plains of Colorado, with a flash flood watch already announced for southeastern counties.

Scattered severe thunderstorms are expected later in the day from Interstate 25 to the Colorado-Kansas border. Among the threats for northeast counties are tennis ball-size hail, wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour, and some potential for tornadoes.

More Severe Weather, Tornadoes on Tap for Saturday Afternoon

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More severe weather is expected a day after storms across eastern Colorado brought heavy rain, hail, tornado warnings and damaging 70 mile per hour winds to the region.

The National Weather Service is predicting thunderstorms producing up to two-inch hail and wind gusts up to 70 mph for parts of the region Saturday afternoon.

While the risk for tornadoes is low, the Pueblo NWS office calls out Kiowa and Prowers counties in southeast Colorado as being at risk for isolated tornadoes.

Another Mixed Week for Colorado Drought Conditions

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Two weeks after all of Otero County, and portions of neighboring counties, moved in to exceptional drought conditions, a series of storms moved part of the impacted area back into extreme drought.

While all of Otero moved into exceptional conditions two weeks ago, the worst drought category receded from the southern two-thirds of the county this week, along with all be the northwest corner of Bent County, the southeast corner of Pueblo County, and parts of northern Las Animas County.

Baca County Crash Injures 2, Kills 1

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A two-vehicle crash in Baca County around 9:30 Wednesday night left a Texas man dead and two more people with injuries.

According to the Colorado State Patrol, the crash occurred on Highway 287 13 miles north of Springfield when a 2013 GMC Yukon driven by Justin Wayne Murdock, 35, of Gruver, Texas, drifted into the southbound lane. Murdock was traveling north at the time. His vehicle collided with a 2018 Volvo semi-tractor and trailer driven by Mykola Zhalanavski, 34, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada.

Voluntary Fishing Closures Set in Western Colorado

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Due to high water temperatures and low flows, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is implementing voluntary fishing closures between 2:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. on sections of the Eagle River, Colorado River, Crystal River, and Roaring Fork River in Northwest Colorado. The fishing closure is effective immediately, until further notice.

Although anglers are not legally prohibited from fishing in these stretches, CPW is asking anglers to fish early in the day and find alternative places to fish until conditions improve.