Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
National Weather Service National Weather Service Pueblo Co
655 PM MST Fri Feb 16 2018

COC003-009-011-015-021-023-025-027-041-043-055-061-065-071-079-089-
099-101-105-109-119-190200-
655 PM MST Fri Feb 16 2018

...Moderate to Severe Drought continues across Southern Colorado...

SYNOPSIS...

Weather conditions through out January of 2018 played a similar tune
to the last few months of 2017; namely warm and dry across most of
South Central and Southeast Colorado. A few weather systems brought
some precipitation to the area, favoring northern portions of the
state, with well below normal precipitation experienced across southern
portions of Colorado for the month as a whole. A pattern change through
early February has brought some much needed precipitation to portions
of Southern Colorado, however, precipitation totals remain well below
normal for the 2018 Water Year, thus far.

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor, issued Thursday February
15th, 2018 continues to indicate severe drought (D2) conditions across
Mineral, Rio Grande, Conejos, Alamosa, and Costilla Counties. Severe
(D2) drought conditions are also depicted across the southern 2/3rds
of Saguache County, southwestern portions of Custer County, western
Huerfano County, western and southeastern portions of Las Animas County,
most of Baca County and southeastern portions of Prowers County.

Moderate drought (D1) conditions are indicated across most of the
rest of south central and southeast Colorado including the rest of
Saugache, Custer, Huerfano, Las Animas, Baca and Prowers Counties.
Moderate (D1) drought conditions are also depicted across western
portions of Chaffee County and eastern portions of Fremont County,
as well as all of Teller, El Paso, Pueblo, Crowley, Otero, Kiowa,
and Bent Counties.

Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions are depicted across western portions
of Fremont County and eastern portions of Chaffee County, as well as
Lake County.

www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu/aboutus/classificationscheme.aspx

DROUGHT IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER...

Warm and dry conditions across the region over the past several
months, combined with abundant cured fuels, has allowed for moderate
to high fire danger to develop and persist across much of South
Central and Southeast Colorado. A pattern change in early February
brought some snow cover and a brief respite to the high fire danger
across southeastern Colorado into the middle of the month. However,
warm and windy weather will allow for a return of dry fuels and high
fire danger to the area.

The latest information on fire bans and restrictions can be found at:

www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html

AGRICULTURAL...

The very warm and dry late Fall and early Winter has helped to dry
out soil moisture across south central and southeast Colorado. This
in turn, has damaged winter wheat crops across southern Colorado.

HYDROLOGIC...

The February 1st statewide snowpack came in at only 59 percent of
median, and is only 39 percent of the available snowpack at this same
time last year. There continues to a strong gradient in snowpack
conditions, which deteriorates from north to south across the state.
Some beneficial snow has fallen across the Southern Mountains into mid
February, however, snowpack remains well below average with 2/3rds of
mountain snow accumulation season already passed.

In the Arkansas Basin, February 1st snowpack came in at 55 percent of
median, and is only 35 percent of the available snowpack at this same
time last year. As with the state as a whole, there remain big
differences in the distribution of said snowpack, with the northern
portions of the Arkansas Basin coming in at 75 percent of normal,
while the southern portions of the basin are running between 20 and 25
percent of normal.

In the Rio Grande Basin, February 1st snowpack came in at only 31
percent of median, and is only 21 percent of last years snowpack at
this same time.

Water storage across the state at the end of January remained at 115
percent of average overall, as compared to 106 percent of average
storage available at this same time last year.

In the Arkansas Basin, end of January storage was at 140 percent of
average overall, as compared to 99 percent of average storage available
at this same time last year. Reservoir storage in the Arkansas Basin
remains the highest in the state.

In the Rio Grande Basin, end of January storage remained at 123
percent of average overall, as compared to 89 percent of average
storage available at this same time last year.

With 2/3rd of the normal accumulating season in the books, current
streamflow forecasts for the Spring and Summer are projected to be
below average statewide. Near average to below average flows area
projected across northern portions of the state, with below to well
below average flows across the southern half of the state.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

The average temperature in Alamosa through out the past month of
January was 7.3 degrees above normal, making January of 2017 the
9th warmest January on record in Alamosa. Alamosa recorded 0.08
inches of precipitation and 1.5 inches of snow through out the month
of January, which is 0.18 inches and 2.5 inches below normal,
respectively.

The average temperature in Colorado Springs through out the past month
of January was 4.5 degrees above normal, making January of 2017 the
13th warmest January on record in Colorado Springs. Colorado Springs
recorded 0.16 inches of precipitation and 1.7 inches of snow through
out the month of January, which is 0.16 inches and 3.9 inches below
normal, respectively.

The average temperature in Pueblo through out the past month of January
was 3.7 degrees above normal. Pueblo recorded 0.23 inches of precipitation
and 1.2 inches of snow through out the month of January, which is 0.12
inches and 5.3 inches below normal, respectively.

Here are a few other statistics for select south central and southeast
Colorado locations, indicating observed precipitation totals and
departure from normals for the past month, past 3 months, past 6
months and past 365 days:

...............PAST........PAST 3......PAST 6.......PAST 365........
...............MONTH.......MONTHS......MONTHS.......DAYS............
...............TOTAL/DEP...TOTAL/DEP...TOTAL/DEP....TOTAL/DEP.......
...............INCHES......INCHES......INCHES.......INCHES..........

ALS Airport    0.08/-0.18  0.28/-0.75  2.82/-1.07   9.42/+2.11
COS Airport    0.16/-0.16  0.32/-0.74  5.75/-0.66  18.28/+1.74
PUB Airport    0.23/-0.12  0.55/-0.65  2.51/-2.50  15.47/+2.90

Eads           0.26/-0.08  0.29/-0.89  3.82/-2.16  21.28/+5.60
Lamar          0.09/-0.21  0.14/-0.94  5.98/+0.57  21.26/+6.06
Campo 7S       0.03/-0.32  0.11/-1.15  8.03/+1.03  26.34/+9.38
Walsh 1W       0.17/-0.31  0.29/-1.34 10.04/+2.37  28.52/+9.36
Kim 15NNE      0.79/+0.25  1.28/-0.64  6.86/+0.07  25.21/+8.37
Florissant     0.28/-0.20  1.15/-0.48  6.12/-1.15  16.43/-0.45
Canon City     0.24/-0.25  0.85/-0.83  4.97/-0.87  14.98/+1.51
Rye 1SW        0.58/-0.77  1.65/-2.17  9.33/-0.63  32.88/+7.77
Westcliffe     0.13/-0.49  0.66/-1.53  4.22/-2.15  14.72/+0.17
Walsenburg 1NW 0.65/-0.19  1.43/-1.73  5.89/-1.74  26.88/+8.84
Trinidad       0.53/+0.01  1.01/-0.90  8.27/+1.09  21.08/+4.77
Crestone 2SE   0.18/-0.41  0.45/-1.33  5.02/-1.27  13.02/-0.24
Del Norte 2E   0.02/-0.37  0.27/-1.24  4.18/-1.22   8.97/-1.59
Buena Vista 2S 0.13/-0.17  0.93/-0.17  4.22/-0.75   9.27/-1.32


PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...Updated

ThE Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next week
indicates better chances for near normal temperatures and below
normal precipitation across South Central and Southeast Colorado.
The outlook for rest of February, March and April continues to
indicate a nod to warmer than normal temperatures and below normal
precipitation across the region.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

This product will be updated by March 15th, 2018, or sooner if
necessary, in response to significant changes in conditions.

&&

RELATED WEB SITES...

Additional informations on current drought conditions may be found at:

www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu

www.weather.gov/pub/localdroughtmonitor

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...

The drought monitor is a multi-agency effort involving The National
Drought Mitigation Center, NOAA`s National Weather Service, The USDA
and state and regional center climatologists. Information for this
statement has been gathered from NWS and FAA observation sites,
Colorado Cooperative Extension Services, The USDA, USACE and USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

If you have any questions or comments about this drought information
statement, please contact:

National Weather Service Forest Office
3 Eaton Way
Pueblo, Colorado 81007
Phone: 719-948-9429

or

w-pub.webmaster@noaa.gov

$$


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