Drought Monitor Update: Dry With No Surprises
First Drought Monitor update from the National Drought Mitigation Center and the results are pretty much as expected: we’re dry.
Despite 2017 actually being a good year for precipitation across most of southern Colorado (Colorado Springs for instance saw 18.44" of precip total which is 1.9" above normal for the year), a steady lack of fall and early winter snow have left much of the state parched.
December in 2017 was the 6th driest on record in Colorado Springs and the 9th driest in Pueblo, and that really put a hurt on not only southern Colorado, but especially the central and western Rockies with areas like Durango currently under a severe drought.
If you compare this update to the drought monitor at this time last year, you can see there are big differences.
The two most notable are the absence of drought in the central and western Rockies and the abundance of a moderate drought along and east of the Front Range.
Last year, we ended up seeing several large mountain snows in January that spilled over into the Front Range and helped our drought situation slightly before the big, quenching snows in March.
Hopefully this year we can also see a few big snows in January, even through our strong La Nina pattern would suggest most of Colorado, especially the Front Range, will stay dry till after February.