Slight Improvements in Colorado Drought Situation

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While over one-third of Colorado remains in extreme or exceptional drought, parts of the state showed improvements following spring thunderstorms.

Northeast Colorado continues to benefit from late spring rains as conditions improved in Clear Creek, Gilpin, Jefferson, Broomfield, Weld, Adams, Denver, Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert, Washington, Lincoln, Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties. The improving counties saw drought conditions disappear or shift to abnormally dry conditions.

Drought Continues to Deepen in Colorado Despite Improvements in the Northeast

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Despite the start of spring thunderstorms, Colorado's drought situation continued to deteriorate. One-third of the state is in the two worst categories of drought.

Some areas showed improvements, with the northeast and north central areas continuing to lead that trend as the area benefitted from moderate to heavy rain, with some locations receiving up to three inches of rain.

Will Hurricanes be Stronger in the Future?

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Scientists have developed a detailed analysis of how 22 recent hurricanes would be different if they formed under the conditions predicted for the late 21st century.

While each storm's transformation would be unique, on balance, the hurricanes would become a little stronger, a little slower-moving, and a lot wetter.

In one example, Hurricane Ike -- which killed more than 100 people and devastated parts of the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2008 -- could have 13 percent stronger winds, move 17 percent slower, and be 34 percent wetter if it formed in a future, warmer climate.

Severe Thunderstorms Across the Eastern Plains Friday – Large Hail, Tornadoes Possible

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Much of eastern Colorado will be at risk for severe thunderstorms Friday afternoon, with potential for heavy rain, golf ball-size hail and tornadoes.

Moisture has been increasing across the region, which is expected to produce scattered showers and thunderstorms starting in the early afternoon.

Drought Improves for Northeast Colorado – ‘Exceptional’ Continues to Expand in Southwest

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While southwest Colorado continues to suffer under the worst category of drought conditions, the northeast portion of the state showed improvement following an increase in spring rain and thunderstorms.

Abnormally dry conditions continued to recede from the northeast, leaving more than 20 percent of the state free from drought. Moderate drought was also in decline for Adams, Arapahoe and northern Elbert county, moving those areas into abnormally dry conditions. Severe drought dropped to moderate conditions in parts of Elbert and Lincoln counties.

‘Exceptional’ Drought Continues to Expand in Colorado

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Nearly one-third of Colorado remains within the two worst categories of drought as portions of the southwest corner shift from extreme to exceptional drought.

Exceptional drought, the worst category, has been impacting all of Montezuma, much of La Plata and portions of Dolores and Archuleta counties since April. With the latest update, the remainder of Dolores county moved to exceptional, along with much of San Miguel and parts of San Juan and Montrose counties.

Spring Weather – Warm, Mostly Dry Weekend Ahead

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The first weekend in May has arrived with a forecast perfect for outdoor activities. Unlike recent weeks, the risk for fire is lower despite drought conditions that continue to plague most of the state. Localized fire danger will continue through week, so be careful with any outdoor burning.

A few isolated showers and thunderstorms are possible across most of the Colorado Saturday. The most likely areas to see precipitation will be the north central mountains and north central plains.