Climate: Drought eases in parts of Colorado

Entire state still at some level of drought, with worst conditions on eastern plains and northwest Colorado

All of Colorado is still experiencing some level of drought.
Colorado, along with most of the central U.S. saw its hottest spring and summer ever.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Drought conditions have eased across parts of Colorado, with Summit County at the bullseye of an area where the level of drought has been reduced to moderate, thanks mostly to above average precipitation in July and August.

July in particular was wet in Summit County, with about double the average precipitation for the month. Eastern Eagle County, including the Vail area, is also in the area where the drought intensity has been reduced, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

The Oct. 4 update marks the first time since March that drought conditions are not classified as severe in the area, but extreme to exceptional drought persists across large areas of the Colorado, especially on the eastern plains, where exceptional drought still prevails, and in the northwestern corner of the state, still experiencing extreme drought.

For the first time since March, drought conditions in part of Eagle County are no longer severe, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Drought conditions began locally in January due to poor snowpack and worsened after the driest march on record. Record high temperatures across much of the state worsened conditions in late spring and early summer, when much of the state was classified as being in extreme drought.

According to the Eagle River Water and Sanitation District, wet conditions in July helped water supplies west of Vail Pass, enabling the district to stick with normal watering regulations.

August saw just enough rain to moderate outdoor water demand during high irrigation season and many in the community decreased outdoor water use as local streamflows dropped in August and September.

March through August was the warmest such six-month period on record in Colorado, according to the National Climatic Data Center.


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