Rain and thunderstorms that have helped improve drought conditions in eastern Colorado since the end of July largely came to an end last week, while the western half of the state continued to bake under warm temperatures.
Nearly half of Colorado remains in extreme and exceptional drought, the two worst categories. South central and much of the west slope have been suffering under a lack of moisture for most of the year, while the northeast benefited from a late season blizzard and periodic rain to reach drought-free conditions over the summer.
Additional parts have been ordered for an ongoing refurbishment project of the National Weather Service radar site at Pueblo
The site was removed from service Wednesday morning, allowing technicians to replace original breakers and cables with new, modern fuses and cables that are expected to extend the useful life of the site for another decade. Similar upgrades are taking place across the NWS network of radar sites.
"Fair weather" takes on a welcome meaning in Kiowa County through Sunday as temperatures remain pleasant, with just a hint of fall in the air.
Drought conditions continued to improve across a large part of Baca County, and portions of Prowers, eastern Las Animas and the southeast corner of Bent County.
It was a different story for western Montrose and most of Ouray counties, where conditions continued to deteriorate. In both cases, exceptional drought - the worst category - overtook extreme conditions that had been in place for months.
Technicians are expected to begin refurbishment work on the National Weather Service's Pueblo radar site Wednesday morning to replace original breakers and cables with new, modern fuses and cables.
The nation's weather radar network is undergoing a series of upgrades and replacements intended to extend the useful life of sites for another decade or more.
Periodic storms across southeast Colorado have contributed to further improvements in drought conditions while the western half of the state continues to see the worst of this year's impacts.
As much as two inches of rain fell in parts of Las Animas, Baca and Prowers counties, contributing to the improvement for the far southeast.
Most of Crowley County, along with lesser portions of Otero, Bent and Kiowa counties, shifted from extreme to severe drought.