The latest US Drought Monitor update for the first week of May, depicts increasing drought in Colorado. Concern especially lies in the return on extreme drought levels to southern Colorado.
The eastern Plains, near Lamar and La Junta are experiencing extreme drought due to lack of rain/snow in the recent months. The San Juan and San Luis Valley zones are under extreme drought due mostly to low snowpack in those zones.
Snow has begun melting in the mountains at a rapid pace. Unusually warm conditions have depleted the Upper Rio Grande to 33% of normal.
The Arkansas River and Rio Grande saw near average snow totals this season, but the snow melt is earlier than usual. Typically, this rate of snowmelt would occur late May to early June.
Drought conditions are expected to remain through the rest of the season.