Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
National Weather Service National Weather Service Pueblo Co
1001 AM MDT Thu Mar 21 2019

COC003-009-011-015-021-023-025-027-041-043-055-061-065-071-079-089-
099-101-105-109-119-231615-
1001 AM MDT Thu Mar 21 2019

...Abundant Winter and Early Spring Precipitation Brings Marked Improvement
In Drought Conditions across South Central and Southeast Colorado...

SYNOPSIS...Updated

Abundant and much needed precipitation across Colorado`s High Country
over the past few months has allowed the US Drought Monitor to indicate
marked improvement in the drought that has plagued much of Colorado over
the past year. Abundant precipitation through the first half of March,
with statewide Colorado Snotel observations reporting 289 percent of
average March precipitation through the first 19 days of the month, has
allowed for continued improvement. With that said, the latest Drought
Monitor, issued Thursday March 21st 2019, has removed all of the Extreme
Drought (D3) conditions across the state, with Severe Drought (D2)
conditions now confined to extreme southern portions of Costilla County,
and extreme southwestern portions of Las Animas County.

Moderate Drought (D1) conditions are now depicted across most of the
rest of Costilla County, extreme southeastern and southwestern portions
of Conejos County, western portions of Las Animas County, the western
2/3rds of Huerfano County, eastern Custer County, extreme
southwestern Pueblo County and south central portions of Fremont
County.

Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions are now indicated across Mineral County,
Rio Grande County and the rest of Conejos County, as well as, eastern
portions of Saguache County, Alamosa County and extreme southwestern
portions of Costilla County. Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions are also
depicted across extreme southeastern Chaffee County and the rest of
Fremont and Custer Counties, as well as, Teller County, most of El Paso
County, and the rest of Pueblo County. Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions
are also indicated Crowley County, western Kiowa County, extreme
northwestern portions of Bent County, extreme eastern Otero and
Huerfano Counties, as well as central into eastern portions of Las
Animas County.

Drought free conditions are now indicated across western portions of
Saguache County, most of Chaffee County, Lake County and extreme
northern portions of El Paso County. Drought free conditions are also
depicted across the rest of Kiowa, Bent, Otero and Las Animas Counties,
as well as Prowers and Baca Counties.

More information about the drought classification can be found at:

droughtmonitor.unl.edu/AboutUSDM/DroughtClassification.aspx

DROUGHT IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER...

Fall and Winter precipitation has helped to ease fire danger across
much of South Central and Southeast Colorado. However, with cured
fuels and more windy weather associated with the early Winter Season,
fire danger across non snow covered areas could be moderate to high
at times into the early Spring.

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

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

AGRICULTURAL...

At or above normal precipitation over the last 6 months across most
of South Central and Southeast Colorado has helped to improve soil
moisture, especially across southeastern portions of the state, where
latest Vic Soil Moisture data indicating surplus soil moisture at this
time. Winter precipitation has also helped to improve conditions across
South Central Colorado, however, some long term dryness continues to
be indicated.

HYDROLOGIC...

Latest NRCS data indicates statewide precipitation for the month of
February came in at 138 percent of average, which got a boost from
abundant and widespread precipitation across southwestern portions of
the Colorado, where some basins indicated over 200 percent of average
precipitation for the month. For the 2019 Water Year thus far, statewide
precipitation is at 110 percent of average overall.

In the Arkansas Basin, February precipitation was 124 percent of average,
which brings water year to date precipitation to 110 percent of average
overall.

In the Rio Grande Basin, February precipitation was 175 percent of average,
which brings water year to date precipitation to 109 percent of average
overall.

NRCS data indicated statewide snowpack on March 1st came in at 112 percent
of average overall, compared to only 73 percent of average snowpack
available at this same time last year. In stark contrast to last year,
the northern and southern basins across the state are at or above normal
levels.

In the Arkansas Basin, March 1st snowpack came in at 128 percent of average
overall, compared to only 64 percent of average snowpack available at this
same time last year. Again, in stark contrast to last year, the northern
and southern portions of the Arkansas Basin are at or above normal levels.

In the Rio Grande Basin, March 1st snowpack came in at 115 percent of
average overall, compared to only 59 percent of the available snowpack
at this same time last year.

NRCS data indicated statewide water storage came in at 83 percent of
average overall at the end of February, as compared to 115 percent of
average storage available statewide at this same time last year.

In the Arkansas Basin, water storage at the end of February came in at
87 percent of average overall, as compared to 134 percent of average
storage available at this same time last year.

In the Rio Grande Basin, water storage at the end of February came in
at 78 percent of average overall, as compared to 121 percent of average
storage available at this same time last year.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

The average temperature in Alamosa through out the past month of
February was 20.5 degrees. This is 2.5 degrees below normal and makes
February of 2019 the 13th coldest February on record in Alamosa.
Alamosa recorded 0.37 inches of precipitation through out the month
of February. This is 0.11 inches above normal and makes February of
2019 the 11th wettest on record. Alamosa recorded 4.1 inches of snow
through out the month of February, which is 0.3 inches above normal.

The average temperature in Alamosa for the Winter of 2018-19 (December-
February) was 2.6 degrees below normal. Alamosa recorded 1.86 inches
of precipitation through the Winter. This is 0.99 inches above normal
and makes the Winter of 2018-19 the 5th wettest Winter on record.
Alamosa recorded 28.8 inches of snow through the Winter. This is 16.5
inches above normal and makes the Winter of 2018-19 the 4th snowiest
on record in Alamosa.

The average temperature in Colorado Springs through out the past month of
February was 0.5 degrees below normal. Colorado Springs recorded 0.29 inches
of precipitation and 6.1 inches of snow through out February, which is
0.05 inches below normal and 1.2 inches above normal, respectively.

The average temperature in Colorado Springs for the Winter of 2018-19
(December-February) was 1.1 degrees above normal. Colorado Springs
recorded 0.65 inches of precipitation through the Winter, which is
0.35 inches below normal. Colorado Springs recorded 10.2 inches of
snow through the Winter, which is 6.0 inches below normal.

The average temperature in Pueblo through out the past month of February
was 0.1 degrees above normal. Pueblo recorded 0.22 inches of precipitation
and 5.6 inches of snow through out February, which is 0.08 inches below
normal and 1.8 inches above normal, respectively.

The average temperature in Pueblo for the Winter of 2018-19 (December-
February) was 1.7 degrees above normal. Pueblo recorded 0.83 inches of
precipitation through the Winter, which is 0.20 inches below normal.
Pueblo recorded 10.2 inches of snow through the Winter, which is 5.6
inches below 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    0.37/+0.11  1.86/+0.99  4.20/+1.32   7.00/-0.31
COS Airport    0.29/-0.05  0.65/-0.35  3.13/-0.28  15.41/-1.13
PUB Airport    0.22/-0.08  0.83/-0.20  2.78/-0.21   7.65/-4.92

Eads           0.99/+0.54  1.54/+0.37  5.52/+1.66  13.94/-1.74
Lamar          0.80/+0.43  1.48/+0.41  6.54/+3.04  14.76/-0.44
Campo 7S       0.24/-0.14  1.20/+0.00  6.95/+2.55  20.10/+3.14
Walsh 1W       0.92/+0.47  2.58/+1.09  9.33/+4.22  22.61/+3.45
Kim 15NNE      0.51/+0.02  2.72/+1.06  7.22/+2.40  15.04/-1.80
Canon City     0.60/+0.14  1.71/+0.22  4.80/+0.73  12.46/-1.01
Rye 1SW        0.88/-0.25  4.74/+0.99 10.71/+2.50  19.11/-6.00
Walsenburg 1NW 0.65/-0.26  3.27/+0.40  7.21/+1.02  14.67/-3.37
Trinidad       0.71/+0.13  1.95/+0.28  5.14/+0.06   9.73/-6.58
Crestone 2SE   0.79/+0.36  2.21/+0.66  4.37/-0.15   8.65/-4.61
Del Norte 2E   0.28/-0.08  1.38/+0.08  3.97/+0.09   8.31/-2.25
Buena Vista 2S 0.70/+0.29  1.63/+0.52  3.94/+0.57   7.35/-3.24

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...Updated

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next week indicates
better chances of below normal temperatures and above normal precipitation
across South Central and Southeast Colorado. The outlook for rest of March,
April and May gives equal chances for above, below and near normal
temperatures, along with a slight nod to above precipitation across
the area.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

This product will be updated by Thursday April 11th, 2019, 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/

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

or

w-pub.webmaster@noaa.gov

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