Plentiful snow for the high country over the past month, especially in the San Miguel, Dolores, Animas, San Juan and Upper Rio Grande areas have helped Colorado’s statewide snow pack tremendously. Currently statewide, Colorado is at 114% of average snow water equivalent (SWE), up 5% from just over two weeks ago statewide and 21-22% over the southwest region of the state as seen below for February 10, 2019:
Here is the current Colorado SNOTEL Snow Water Equivalent (SWE) map:
A much needed increase of snow in Colorado’s southwestern mountains over the past couple of weeks has really improved the amount of available water, which should relieve at least a portion of Colorado’s drought to the southwestern region. Here are the latest drought monitor conditions provided by Brad Rippey of the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
Per the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Colorado is still suffering significantly with drought conditions nearly throughout the state. The worst areas of drought for Colorado are currently in the southwest region, where several areas are experiencing extreme drought, with portions of the central and southern mountains in a severe drought situation. However, this map does not indicate the impacts of the most recent snow to Colorado’s southwest which saw an uptick of 21-22% in SWE. Hopefully that increase in snow over the past few weeks improves the severe to extreme drought conditions.
A look ahead to what we can expect over the next couple of weeks indicates below-average temperatures for most of Colorado and northeast towards the high plains. There will be a good chance March starts off a bit cooler than average for Colorado as seen below:
As for precipitation, Colorado should start of March with a chance for slightly above-average precipitation between 40-50% for most the state with 50-60% above average precipitation for the far western portion of the state as seen below:
With below average temperatures and above average precipitation chances, expect to see additional improvement to Colorado’s drought going into spring as March can be a very snowy month for our state!