Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Denver/Boulder, CO

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Drought Information Statement
National Weather Service Denver/Boulder CO
126 PM MDT Thu Mar 16 2017

...Drought intensifies along the Front Range Urban Corridor...

Synopsis...
Drier and warmer than normal conditions occurred in the Colorado
River headwaters and continued across eastern Colorado with gusty
winds common. The warm...dry and windy conditions produced much
above normal evaporative demand in eastern Colorado as noted on the
Colorado NIDIS Weekly Drought Summary. There have been grass and
brush fires from the lower Front Range Foothills eastward.
Vegetative conditions have continued to deteriorate in recent weeks.
Winter wheat is not coming up in some areas...including Lincoln
County. Most of Lincoln County on the east central plains remained
in a Severe Drought /D2/...with reports of blowing dust producing
low visibilities.

Local Areas Affected...
Severe Drought /D2/ was expanded to include both the Denver Metro
area and the northern I-25 Urban Corridor from Wellington south to
Berthoud. Moderate Drought /D1/ continued elsewhere except for
Abnormally Dry /D0/ conditions in the high country immediately east
of the Continental Divide and on the far north central plains. There
were no drought designations west of the divide on the March 14th
U.S. Drought Monitor.

Hydrologic Summary...
There was less snowfall from February through mid-March compared
with the previous two months. On February 1st the mountain snowpack
was around 155 percent of normal. By March 16th snowpack ranged from
116 percent of normal in the South Platte Basin to 128 percent of
normal in the upper Colorado River Basin. The mountain snowpack
typically does not peak until April. However...basin snowpack is
already between 90 to 115 percent of the normal peak snowpack.

March 1st basin reservoir storage was 107 percent of average. This
is similar to the storage last year. The majority of U.S. Geological
Survey gages continued to record near normal streamflow. Below
normal to moderate hydrologic drought continued along the Arikaree
and South Fork Republican Rivers as well as Frenchman and Spring
Creeks on the far east and northeast plains on the USGS Colorado
DroughtWatch

Climate Summary...
It has been drier and warmer than normal since February 1st.
Unofficial NWS Cooperative Observer precipitation totals from
February 1st through March 15th are listed below:

Location           County     2017  Normal Departure % Normal
--------           ------     ----  ------ --------- --------
North Central Mountains/Foothills
 Conifer 6NE       Jefferson  0.50    1.96    -1.46     26
 Dillon 1E         Summit     0.99    1.38    -0.39     72
 Georgetown        Clear Ck   0.72    1.55    -0.83     46
 Georgetown 4SW    Clear Ck   1.22    1.73    -0.51     71
 Virginia Dale7ENE Larimer    0.80    0.97    -0.17     82
 Winter Park       Grand      2.88    3.30    -0.42     87

Front Range Urban Corridor
 Boulder           Boulder    0.73    1.75    -1.02     42
 Denver area       Denver     0.25    0.73    -0.48     34
 Fort Collins      Larimer    0.55    1.11    -0.56     50
 Loveland 2N       Larimer    0.49    1.21    -0.72     40
 Northglenn        Adams      0.22    0.87    -0.65     25
 Wheat Ridge       Jefferson  0.14    1.51    -1.37      9

Northeast/East Central Colorado Plains
 Akron 4E          Washington 0.20    1.08    -0.88     19
 Holyoke           Phillips   0.30    0.98    -0.68     31
 Karval            Lincoln    0.02    0.64    -0.62      3
 Leroy 5WSW        Logan      0.57    0.84    -0.27     68
 New Raymer 21N    Weld       0.48    0.82    -0.34     59
 Woodrow 6NNE      Morgan     0.19    0.71    -0.52     27

Weather Outlooks...
The 6 to 14 day outlooks through March 29th indicate a higher
probability of above normal precipitation and above normal
temperatures.

&&

Related web sites...
Additional information on current drought conditions may be
found at the following web addresses...

Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS):
http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=bou

U.S. Drought Monitor:
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Colorado Climate Center/NIDIS Drought Presentations:
http://climate.colostate.edu/drought_webinar.php

NWS Climate Prediction Center Outlooks:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/expert_assessment/
sdo_summary.php

Natural Resources Conservation Service:
https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/co/snow/

CWCB Water Availability Task Force Presentations:
http://cwcb.state.co.us/public-information/
flood-water-availability-task-forces/Pages/main.aspx

USGS DroughtWatch and WaterWatch:
co.water.usgs.gov/drought/
waterwatch.usgs.gov/?m=real&r=co

Acknowledgments...
The Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the National
Weather Service and National Climatic Data Center, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, State and Regional Center Climatologists
and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this
statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation
sites...cooperative network stations, Natural Resources Conservation
Service SNOTEL network...CoCoRaHS network as well as the Colorado
Division of Water Resources...U.S. Geological Survey...U.S. Bureau
of Reclamation and U.S. Army Corp or Engineers stream and reservoir
gages.

Questions or Comments...
If you have any questions or comments about this drought information
please contact...
National Weather Service
325 Broadway
Boulder CO 80305
303-494-4221

$$
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