Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
National Weather Service National Weather Service Pueblo Co
150 PM MST Fri Feb 19 2021

COC003-009-011-015-021-023-025-027-041-043-055-061-065-071-079-089-
099-101-105-109-119-262100-
150 PM MST Fri Feb 19 2021

...Improvements in the Drought Across South Central Colorado...

SYNOPSIS...

Late January and early February storm systems have provided some beneficial
precipitation across portions of south central Colorado. This is especially
true for the higher terrain of the central and southwest mountains, where
current NRCS SNOTEL data indicate snowpack in the Upper Rio Grande basin
and in the Arkansas basin being the only basins across the state at or above
normal to date.

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor, issued Thursday February 16th
2021, now indicates severe drought (D2) conditions across Mineral County,
western portions of Conejos and Rio Grande Counties, the western half of
Saguache County, as well as all of Lake and Chaffee Counties.

The latest US Drought Monitor also continues to indicate exceptional
drought (D4) conditions persisting across central portions of Kiowa County
and extreme northeastern portions of Teller County into northern portions
of El Paso County.

Extreme drought (D3) conditions are indicated across the rest of Kiowa
County, northern and extreme eastern portions of Bent County, Prowers
County, and northeastern Baca County. Extreme drought (D3) conditions
are also depicted across most of the rest of Teller and El Paso Counties,
northern Pueblo and Crowley Counties, extreme northeastern Otero County,
as well as southwestern portions of Las Animas County, southern Costilla
County, and extreme southeastern Conejos County.

Severe drought (D2) conditions remain indicated across extreme southwestern
portions of Teller and El Paso Counties, northern portions of Fremont
County, central portions of Pueblo County, the rest of Crowley County,
northern portions of Otero County, north central to southeastern portions
of Bent County, and the rest of Baca County. Severe Drought (D2) conditions
are also indicated across the eastern 2/3rds of Huerfano County, northeastern
to southeastern Las Animas County, as well as the rest of Costilla County
and eastern Conejos County.

Moderate drought (D1) conditions are depicted across eastern Saguache and
Rio Grande Counties, northeastern Conejos County, Alamosa County, northern
Huerfano County, Custer County, and southern Fremont County. Moderate drought
(D1) are also indicated across southwestern and southeastern Pueblo County,
southern Otero County, northeastern Las Animas County and southwestern Bent
County.

More information about drought classification can be found at:

droughtmonitor.unl.edu/About/AbouttheData/DroughtClassification.aspx

DROUGHT IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER...

Cooler weather associated with the winter season has helped to tapper
fire danger somewhat across the region. However, the lack of fuel
moisture and occasionally breezy to windy conditions, will continue
to keep fire danger in the moderate to high category across much of
the snow free areas of the state.

The latest information on fire bans and restrictions across the area
can be found at: www.coemergency.com/p/fire-bans-danger.html

AGRICULTURAL...

Data from The Colorado Climate Center and the NWS Climate Prediction Center
continue to indicate soil moisture deficits remaining high across much of
south central and southeast Colorado, with subsoil moisture deficits
especially high across southeast Colorado at this time. The lack of soil
moisture, combined with strong winds associated with passing cold fronts,
have also led to frequent dust storms across the southeast Colorado plains
over the past few months.

HYDROLOGIC...

NRCS data indicated February 1st statewide snowpack was 77 percent of median,
which is 70 percent of the available snowpack at this same time last year.

In the Arkansas basin, February 1st snowpack came in at 88 percent of
median, which is 72 percent of the available snowpack at this same
time last year.

In the Rio Grande basin February 1st snowpack came in at 106 percent of
median, which is 100 percent of the available snowpack at this same time last
year. Of note, snowpack in the Rio Grande basin remains the highest in the
state.

NRCS data also indicated statewide water storage was at 83 percent of
average overall at the end of January, compared to the 106 percent of
average storage available statewide at this same time last year.

In the Arkansas Basin, water storage at the end of January came in at
68 percent of average overall, as compared to 96 percent of average
storage available at this same time last year.

In the Rio Grande Basin, water storage at the end of January came in
at 73 percent of average overall, as compared to 81 percent of average
storage available at this same time last year.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

The average temperature in Alamosa for the past month of January was
18.8 degrees, which is 2.5 degrees above normal. Alamosa recorded 0.23
inches of precipitation and 3.8 inches of snow through the month of
January, which is 0.03 inches below normal and 0.2 inches below normal,
respectively.

The average temperature in Colorado Springs for the past month of January
was 31.5 degrees, which is 1.0 degrees above normal. Colorado Springs recorded
0.57 inches of precipitation through the month of January. This is 0.25 inches
above normal and makes January of 2021 the 12th wettest January on record.
Colorado Springs recorded 7.9 inches of snow through January. This is 2.3
inches above normal and makes January of 2021 the 19th snowiest on record.


The average temperature in Pueblo for the past month of January was 32.2
degrees, which is 1.7 degrees above normal. Pueblo recorded 0.57 inches of
precipitation through the month of January. This is 0.22 inches above normal
and makes January of 2021 the 21st wettest January on record. Pueblo recorded
7.5 inches of snow through the month of January, which is 1.0 inches above
normal.

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    0.23/-0.03  0.92/-0.11  3.81/-0.08   6.22/-1.09
COS Airport    0.57/+0.25  1.10/+0.04  4.44/-1.97  10.37/-6.17
PUB Airport    0.57/+0.22  0.75/-0.45  2.44/-2.57   5.79/-6.87

Eads           0.69/+0.35  1.10/-0.08  2.08/-3.90   5.21/-10.4
Lamar          0.24/-0.06  1.04/-0.04  2.89/-2.52  10.58/-4.62
Campo 7S       0.39/+0.04  0.96/-0.30  5.98/-1.02   9.67/-7.29
Walsh 1W       0.36/-0.12  2.03/+0.40  4.78/-2.98  13.57/-5.59
Kim 15NNE      0.51/-0.03  1.99/+1.07  5.51/-1.28  13.96/-2.88
FlorrissantFB  0.02/-0.28  1.14/-0.49  3.32/-3.95   9.77/-7.11
Canon City     0.47/-0.02  1.30/-0.38  3.53/-2.31  10.99/-2.48
Rye 1SW        1.04/-0.31  3.34/-0.48  7.96/-2.00  15.32/-9.79
Westcliffe     0.60/-0.02  1.81/-0.38  5.20/-1.17  10.78/-3.77
Walsenburg 1NW 0.96/+0.12  2.13/-1.03  5.57/-2.06  10.55/-7.49
Trinidad       0.55/+0.03  1.01/-0.90  3.85/-3.33   9.04/-7.27
Crestone 2SE   0.67/+0.08  2.00/+0.22  5.51/-0.78   9.63/-3.63
Del Norte 2E   0.65/+0.26  1.86/+0.35  5.44/+0.04   9.54/-1.02
Buena Vista 2S 0.27/-0.03  2.00/+0.90  3.44/-1.53   6.90/-3.69
Climax         1.17/-0.74  4.92/-0.94  7.09/-4.70  21.39/-2.59

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next week indicates
a slight nod to below normal temperatures and near normal precipitation
across south central and southeast Colorado. The outlook for the rest of
February, March and April still indicate better chances for above normal
temperatures and below normal precipitation across the area.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

This product will be updated by Thursday March 11th, 2021, or sooner
if necessary, in response to significant changes in conditions.

&&

RELATED WEB SITES...

Additional information on current drought conditions may be found at:

www.droughtmonitor.unl.edu

www.weather.gov/pub/

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 NRCS, USDA, USACE and
USGS.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

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

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

or

nws.pueblo@noaa.gov

$$


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