Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
National Weather Service National Weather Service Pueblo Co
658 AM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018

COC003-009-011-015-021-023-025-027-041-043-055-061-065-071-079-089-
099-101-105-109-119-171300-
658 AM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018

...Extreme Drought expands into Southern Colorado...

SYNOPSIS...UPDATED

A weather pattern change early in February brought some much needed
precipitation to portions of Southern Colorado, especially the Southwest
Mountains. This precipitation, however, did little to change the substantial
precipitation deficits that have been accumulated throughout the 2018
Water Year across South Central and Southeast Colorado.

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor, issued Thursday March
15th, 2018 has expanded extreme drought (D3) conditions into Southeast
Colorado, including most of Baca and Prowers Counties, southeastern
Bent County and extreme southeastern Las Animas County. Extreme
drought (D3) conditions also remain depicted across Southwest Colorado
into extreme southwestern Conejos County.

Severe drought (D2) conditions remain depicted across extreme
northwestern Baca County, northern Prowers County, the rest of Bent
County and most of the rest of Las Animas County. Severe drought (D2)
conditions remain depicted across Kiowa County, most of Huerfano,
Crowley and Otero Counties, as well as the southern half of Custer
County. Severe drought (D2) conditions are also depicted across
Mineral County, Rio Grande County, the rest of Conejos County, Alamosa
County, and Costilla County, as well as the southern 2/3rds of
Saguache 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, Crowley and Otero Counties,
as well as western portions of Chaffee County and eastern portions of
Fremont County, Teller County, El Paso County, and Pueblo County.

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 through the last half of February has allowed
for a return of dry fuels and high fire danger to the area once again.

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 Winter has helped to dry out soil
moisture across south central and southeast Colorado.

HYDROLOGIC...

The March 1st statewide snowpack showed considerable improvement over
last month, though still failed to reach normal levels, coming in at
only 72 percent of median. This is only 52 percent of the snowpack
available at this same time last year.

In the Arkansas Basin, March 1st snowpack came in at 64 percent of
median, and is only 45 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 84 percent of normal,
while the southern portions of the basin are running between 25 and
35 percent of normal.

The Rio Grande Basin saw the biggest improvement across the state over
the past month, however, the March 1st snowpack came in at only 55
percent of median. This is only 40 percent of last years snowpack at
this same time.

Water storage across the state at the end of February remained around
116 percent of average overall, as compared to 108 percent of average
storage available at this same time last year.

In the Arkansas Basin, end of February storage was at 142 percent of
average overall, as compared to 103 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 February storage remained around 121
percent of average overall, as compared to 91 percent of average storage
available at this same time last year.

With over 2/3rd of the normal accumulating season in the books, streamflow
forecasts for the Spring and Summer continue 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
February was 5.7 degrees above normal, making February of 2018 the
10th warmest February on record in Alamosa. Alamosa recorded 0.23
inches of precipitation and 3.7 inches of snow through out the month
of February, which is 0.03 inches and 0.1 inches below normal,
respectively.

The average temperature in Alamosa through out the Winter of 2017-18
was 6.9 degrees above normal, making this past Winter the 2nd warmest
Winter on record in Alamosa. Alamosa recorded 0.45 inches of precipitation
and 6.5 inches of snow through out the Winter of 2017-18, which is 0.42
inches and 6.5 inches below normal, respectively.

The average temperature in Colorado Springs through out the past month
of February was 0.2 degrees below normal. Colorado Springs recorded
0.40 inches of precipitation and 9.0 inches of snow through out the
month of February, which is 0.06 inches and 4.1 inches above normal,
respectively.

The average temperature in Colorado Springs through out the Winter of
2017-18 was 2.6 degrees above normal. Colorado Springs recorded 0.57
inches of precipitation and 11.6 inches of snow through out the
Winter of 2017-18, which is 0.43 inches and 4.6 inches below normal,
respectively.

The average temperature in Pueblo through out the past month of
February was 0.1 degrees above normal. Pueblo recorded 0.58 inches of
precipitation and 10.5 inches of snow through out the month of February,
which is 0.28 inches and 6.7 inches above normal, respectively.

The average temperature in Pueblo through out the Winter of 2017-18
was 2.2 degrees above normal. Pueblo recorded 0.82 inches of precipitation
and 12.3 inches of snow through out the Winter of 2017-18, which is 0.21
inches and 3.5 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    0.23/-0.03  0.45/-0.42  2.32/-0.56   9.36/+2.05
COS Airport    0.40/+0.06  0.57/-0.43  3.72/+0.31  18.61/+2.07
PUB Airport    0.58/+0.28  0.82/-0.21  2.54/-0.45  15.88/+3.31

Eads           0.19/-0.26  0.45/-0.72  2.33/-1.53  21.18/+5.50
Lamar          0.05/-0.32  0.19/-0.88  3.14/-0.36  21.30/+6.10
Campo 7S       0.05/-0.33  0.12/-1.08  5.59/+1.19  26.20/+9.24
Walsh 1W       0.03/-0.42  0.26/-1.23  4.89/-0.22  28.34/+9.18
Kim 15NNE      0.14/-0.35  1.04/-0.62  4.00/-0.82  25.16/+8.32
Florissant     0.35/-0.12  0.90/-0.56  3.77/-0.59  16.49/-0.39
Canon City     0.75/+0.29  1.17/-0.32  3.92/-0.15  15.53/+2.16
Rye 1SW        0.93/-0.20  1.80/-1.95  6.90/-1.31  32.91/+7.80
Westcliffe     0.81/+0.24  0.98/-0.79  3.04/-1.59  15.02/+0.47
Walsenburg 1NW 0.64/-0.27  1.39/-1.48  5.54/-0.65  27.34/+9.03
Trinidad       0.32/-0.26  0.87/-0.80  5.79/+0.79  21.38/+5.07
Crestone 2SE   0.27/-0.16  0.56/-0.99  3.70/-0.82  12.87/-0.39
Del Norte 2E   0.48/+0.12  0.61/-0.69  3.02/-0.86   8.89/-1.67
Buena Vista 2S 0.15/-0.26  0.50/-0.61  3.35/-0.02   9.06/-1.53
Climax         1.75/-0.03  6.37/+0.70 11.98/+0.92  23.93/-0.05


PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

ThE Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next 2 weeks
indicates better chances for below normal temperatures and above
normal precipitation across South Central Colorado, with below normal
precipitation and above normal temperatures across Southeast Colorado.
The outlook for rest of March, April and May 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 April 12th, 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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