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Severe Storms For The Northeast U.S..; Heat And Fire Out West

A strong cold front will likely trigger severe thunderstorms and locally heavy rain on Friday from the Interior Northeast into the eastern Ohio Valley and northern Mid-Atlantic region, especially in New York state and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, in addition to the ongoing heat wave in the West, fire weather concerns are increasing across the Great Basin into the Four Corners region. Read More >


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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
National Weather Service National Weather Service Pueblo Co
500 PM MDT Sat May 16 2020

COC003-009-011-015-021-023-025-027-041-043-055-061-065-071-079-089-
099-101-105-109-119-232300-
500 PM MDT Sat May 16 2020

...Severe to Extreme Drought Conditions Expand across South Central
and Southeast Colorado...

SYNOPSIS...

Snow packs in the Arkansas and Rio Grande basins were near normal over
the past winter. However, that snow was not enough to relieve the on-
going drought which developed through the late summer and early fall
of 2019, due to below average summer precipitation. Warm and mainly dry
conditions over the past month of April and through the first half of
May has led to deteriorating drought conditions across all of south
central and southeast Colorado.

With that said, the latest US Drought Monitor, issued Thursday May 14th
2020, indicated extreme drought (D3) conditions expanding across south
central Colorado, and now includes western portions of Las Animas,
Huerfano and Custer Counties, southeastern Saguache County, Alamosa
County, Costilla County, the northern two thirds of Conejos County,
most of Rio Grande County and the southern half of Mineral County.
Extreme drought (D3) conditions are also indicated across eastern
Crowley and Otero Counties, the western half of Kiowa County, all of
Bent and Prowers Counties, as well as extreme northern portions of
Baca County.

The latest US Drought Monitor also indicated severe drought (D2)
conditions across most of the rest of south central and southeast
Colorado, which includes the southern third of Fremont County, the
rest of Custer, Huerfano and Las Animas Counties, most of Pueblo
County, the southeast corner of El Paso County, western portions of
Crowley and Otero Counties, eastern portions of Kiowa County and most
of Baca County. Severe drought (D2) conditions are also indicated
across extreme southwestern Chaffee County, the rest of Saguache
County, northern portions of Mineral and Rio Grande Counties, as well
as the southern third of Conejos County.

Moderate drought (D1) conditions are indicated across the rest of
Chaffee County, the northern two thirds of Fremont County, the
southern quarter of Teller County and southwestern to northeastern
portions of El Paso County, while abnormally dry (D0) conditions are
indicated northwestern El Paso County, the rest of Teller County, as
well as Lake County.

More information about drought classification can be found at:

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

DROUGHT IMPACTS...

FIRE DANGER...

The warm and relatively dry weather over the past several months has
led to continued depletion of soil moisture across the area, with the
latest 1 month and 2 month Evaporate Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
indicating the worst conditions across the southern tier of Colorado.
The lack of soil moisture and the slow start to greenup has fire
danger indices high to extreme across most of south central and
southeast Colorado.

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

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

AGRICULTURAL...

The May 11th, 2020 USDA Colorado Crop Progress Report indicated 52 percent
of topsoil moisture across the state were reported at short or very short,
compared to only 9 percent being reported at short or very short at this
same time last year. Subsoil moisture faired only a little better with
43 percent being reported as short or very short statewide, as compared
to 12 percent of subsoil moisture being reported as short to very short
at this same time last year.

HYDROLOGIC...

The May 1st Colorado Water Supply Outlook Report indicated statewide
precipitation for the month of April came in at 59 percent of average,
bringing statewide 2020 Water Year precipitation to 86 percent of
average overall.

In the Arkansas Basin, NRCS data indicated April precipitation was 34
percent of average, which brings water year to date precipitation to
75 percent of average overall.

In the Rio Grande Basin, NRCS data indicated April precipitation was
only 16 percent of average, which brings water year to date precipitation
to 66 percent of average overall. NRCS data also indicated that 14 out
15 SNOTELS in the Rio Grande Basin recorded record low precipitation
for the month of April.

Colorado NRCS data indicated statewide snowpack reached its peak on
April 4th at 104 percent of normal. On May 1st, statewide snowpack was
at 94 percent of average overall, which is only 74 percent of the
available snowpack at this same time last year. NRCS data also indicated
big differences in the available snowpack, with the southern basins
severally lagging the northern basins. These differences also show up
in current streamflow forecasts across the state.

In the Arkansas Basin, NRCS data indicated May 1st snowpack was at 81
percent of average overall, which is 59 percent of the available snowpack
at this same time last year. Current streamflow forecasts range from 41
percent of average for Grape Creek near Westcliffe to 87 percent of
average for the Arkansas River at Salida.

In the Rio Grande Basin, NRCS data indicated May 1st snowpack was at
52 percent of average overall, which is only 39 percent of the available
snowpack at this same time last year. Current streamflow forecasts range
from 28 percent of average for the San Antonio River near at Ortiz to
75 percent of average for Saguache Creek near Saguache.

NRCS data indicated statewide water storage was at 104 percent of average
overall at the end of April, as compared to 91 percent of average storage
available statewide at this same time last year.

In the Arkansas Basin, water storage at the end of April came in at 91
percent of average, as compared to 92 percent of average storage available
at this same time last year.

In the Rio Grande Basin, water storage at the end of April came in at 78
percent of average, as compared to 79 percent of average storage available
at this same time last year.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

The average temperature in Alamosa for the past month of April was
46.6 degrees. This is 4.8 degrees above normal, making April of 2020
tied with April of 2002, as the 4th warmest April on record in Alamosa.
Alamosa recorded 0.09 inches of precipitation through April. This is
0.50 inches below normal, making April of 2020 tied with April of
1989, as the 7th driest April on record. Alamosa did not record any
snow through the month of April. This is 3.6 inches below normal and
makes April of 2020 tied with April of 2002, 1981, 1946 and 1934 as
the least snowiest April on record in Alamosa. With no snow reported
in April, the 2019-2020 seasonal snowfall total in Alamosa remains at
16.8 inches. This is 9.9 inches below normal to date, and currently
makes the 2019-2020 season the 14th least snowiest on record in
Alamosa.

The average temperature in Colorado Springs for the past month of
April was 47.2 degrees, which was 0.7 degrees above normal. Colorado
Springs recorded 0.89 inches of precipitation and 9.4 inches of snow
through the month of April, which is 0.56 inches below normal and 4.5
inches above normal, respectively. The 9.4 inches of snow in April
brings the 2019-2020 seasonal snowfall in Colorado Springs to 56.4
inches. This is 19.4 inches above normal to date, and currently makes
the 2019-2020 season the 15th snowiest on record in Colorado Springs.

The average temperature in Pueblo for the past month of April was
50.2 degrees, which is 0.2 degrees above normal. Pueblo recorded 0.24
inches of precipitation through the month of April. This is 1.33
inches below normal, making April of 2020 tied with April of 1966,
1902 and 1897 as the 15th driest April on record in Pueblo. Pueblo
recorded 2.8 inches of snow through the month of April, which is
1.0 inches below normal. The 2.8 inches of snow in April brings the
2019-2020 seasonal snowfall in Pueblo to 36.2 inches. This is 4.9
inches above normal to date, and currently makes the 2019-2020 season
the 32nd snowiest on record in Pueblo.

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 0.09/-0.50 0.43/-0.95 1.53/-0.88 4.62/-2.69
COS Airport 0.86/-0.56 2.47/-0.29 3.78/-0.04 11.49/-5.05
PUB Airport 0.24/-1.33 1.11/-1.52 2.04/-1.79 12.19/-0.38

Eads 0.18/-1.26 1.30/-1.52 1.58/-2.42 13.85/-1.83
Lamar 0.22/-1.10 1.07/-1.46 1.72/-1.89 10.70/-4.50
Campo 7S 0.31/-1.02 0.71/-2.00 1.94/-2.03 14.58/-2.38
Walsh 1W 0.81/-0.75 1.73/-1.40 2.69/-2.07 16.92/-2.24
Kim 15NNE 0.34/-1.37 2.07/-1.41 3.00/-2.40 12.54/-4.30
Florissant FB 0.90/-0.68 2.65/-0.58 4.27/-0.59 17.12/+0.24
Canon City 0.48/-1.05 2.67/-0.46 3.87/-0.94 12.23/-1.24
Rye 1SW 0.73/-2.18 4.96/-1.64 8.33/-2.09 23.05/-2.06
Westcliffe 0.05/-1.53 1.60/-1.76 2.89/-2.66 8.76/-5.79
Walsenburg 1NW 0.85/-1.33 2.60/-2.45 4.73/-3.48 14.47/-3.57
Trinidad 0.29/-0.99 0.47/-2.55 1.81/-3.12 11.20/-5.11
Crestone 2SE 0.04/-1.08 0.69/-1.98 2.78/-1.67 8.27/-4.99
Del Norte 2E 0.18/-0.65 0.68/-1.34 1.99/-1.54 8.56/-2.00
Buena Vista 2S 0.10/-0.90 1.05/-1.06 2.61/-0.60 7.67/-2.92
Climax 2.52/+0.04 8.50/+1.98 13.82/+1.44 24.21/+0.23

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for the next week indicates
better chances of above normal temperatures and precipitation across
south central and southeast Colorado. The outlook for the rest of May,
June and July continues to indicate better chances for above normal
temperatures and equal chances of above, below, and near normal
precipitation across south central and southeast Colorado.


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

This product will be updated by Thursday June 11th, 2020, 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

$$