La Nina has subsided but drought conditions remain

Posted at 8:37 AM, Jun 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-07 10:37:56-04

Ocean temperatures have warmed enough over the Pacific that forecasters from NOAA no longer consider a La Nina pattern to be in effect. Even though La Nina has passed, the effects are ever present across Colorado. Snow and rain over the Winter was shifted to the northern Rockies, leaving the state wide snow pack well below average through most of the cold season. This, combined with limited Spring thunderstorms, has resulted in heavy drought conditions across most of the region.

Currently, at least 75 percent of Colorado is under some form of drought condition ranging from exceptional drought to just abnormally dry. Around 64 percent of the state is under a moderate drought with roughly 50 percent under a severe drought. Extreme drought now covers roughly 35 percent of the state with less than 10 percent experiencing exceptional drought.

There are signs of hope for the future. Now that La Nina has subsided, near normal conditions will hopefully return through the summer. For Colorado, that should mean a timely return of monsoon season in July. The 3 month outlook from NOAA shows this with the Rockies seeing above average rainfall and slightly cooler air pushing back into Colorado.