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Colorado snowpack improves but severe drought still persists

Colorado Snowpack - 12/10/19
U.S. Drought Monitor - 12/3/19
Posted at 11:08 AM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 13:08:12-05

Another week of snowy weather across the Centennial State has increased the snowpack once again this week. Just last month, southwestern parts of the Colorado hardly had seen any snowfall for the season. Now that we're into early December, that's a different story. The San Juan & Dolores basins are above normal at 132%. The Arkansas River Basin, which represents most of southeastern Colorado is at 123%, which is just below the statewide average of 125%.

Colorado Snowpack - 12/10/19
Current snowpack for Colorado

The snowpack is vital to our state in that it provides us with drinking water and water to grow crops. Believe it or not, it's also a key player in our state's ongoing drought, which has been worsening since last summer. Once the snow melts during the warmer spring and summer months, water will flow into reservoirs and drought conditions will lessen across the state.

U.S. Drought Monitor - 12/3/19
Current Colorado drought conditions

Current drought levels in Colorado Springs and Pueblo are considered to be "Abnormally Dry". In southwest Colorado, the worst of the drought can be seen here in the form of a "Severe Drought". Per the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor, "Severe Drought" conditions also remain over parts of Baca County. These numbers could get worse before they get better, but as our state's snowpack builds, it's a positive sign that the drought will improve in the spring of 2020.