Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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UTC019-037-047-101815-

Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
1114 AM MST Thu Jan 11 2018

...DROUGHT INCREASES OVER EASTERN UTAH AND WESTERN COLORADO...

SYNOPSIS...
Drought categories have increased over eastern Utah and
western Colorado with severe drought pushing northward and
eastward.

Fall precipitation and winter snow accumulation so far are much
below normal for the season for both eastern Utah and western
Colorado. The dry conditions have continued for the past four to
five months.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...
Areas in D2...Severe Drought...include San Juan, Grand, and
portions of Uintah Counties in Utah. In Colorado the counties
include Montezuma, La Plata, Dolores, San Miguel, San Juan, Ouray,
Hinsdale, Montrose, Delta, Mesa, Garfield, and portions of Rio
Blanco, Eagle, Pitkin, Gunnison and Archuleta. The increase in
drought severity is due to low soil moisture, lack of snow pack,
low stream flows, wildland fire impacts, and agricultural impacts
to both winter crops and grazing land.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...
Winter season snow pack is much below normal for the higher
elevations so far. Many SNOTEL sites are in the lowest 5 years
for the period of record. The latest storms did bring moisture to
the area but not enough to change drought impacts. Western
Colorado combined basins snow water equivalent increased from 43
percent to 52 percent of normal. Southeastern Utah snow water
equivalent increased from 11 percent to 26 percent of normal.
Valley precipitation has also been much below normal since the end
of summer. So far for January, valley precipitation in Utah has
been well below normal with Colorado locations slightly below to
near normal for the month.

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...
In the short term a ridge will return this weekend into early
next week with the next storm the weekend of January 20, forecast
to bring much needed moisture to the area. Longer term, there is
a better than average chance of above normal temperatures and
equal chances of either above or below normal precipitation for
the next six weeks across eastern Utah and western Colorado.

Current observations show that the ENSO cycle is and will
continue in a La Nina phase. There is more than a 80 percent
probability of La Nina conditions continuing for the winter
season with a likely transition to neutral condition mid to late
spring.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...
Average seven day and 28 day stream flow has been well below to
just below normal for southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado
The Animas River Basin is much below normal and the Gunnison
River has been above normal mainly due to reservoir releases
although releases have been recently reduced on the Lower
Gunnison River.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...
This product will be updated if necessary in response to
significant changes in conditions.

&&

RELATED WEB SITES...
Additional information on current drought conditions may be found
at the following web addresses:

US Drought Monitor:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

US Drought Information System:
http://www.drought.gov

NWS Climate Prediction Center
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov

NOAA Drought Page:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/Drought

National Weather Service:
http://weather.gov/gjt
http://water.weather.gov

US Geological Survey:
http://water.usgs.gov

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...
The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the
National Weather Service and National Centers for Environmental
Information...the USDA...state and regional center climatologists
and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this
statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites...
state cooperative extension services...the USDA and USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...
If you have questions or comments about this Drought Information
Statement, please contact:

National Weather Service
Grand Junction, CO WFO
2844 Aviators Way
Grand Junction, CO 81506

$$

AS



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