WeatherWeather Science


Drought busting rain in eastern Colorado

Larry Marr Colorado Springs lightning
Posted at 11:09 AM, May 20, 2021

Every week, the US drought monitor analyzes a week of data through Tuesday, releasing the latest drought levels on Thursday.

And with no surprise, a great improvement was found in the front range and eastern plains this week in Colorado.

Click and drag the slider for a comparison.

From last week, the percent area of the state under at least abnormally dry conditions dropped from 86.95% to 76.7%. And the percent area of at least D1 drought dropped from 75.19% to 51.8%. And the drought has been completely erased in the northeast corner of the state, including Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and Greeley.

Unfortunately, the western slope saw no improvement in the worst drought levels D3 and D4.

It is a tale of the haves and have-nots. The western slope has not seen the beneficial snow and rain in the past 30 days as the eastern half of the state has.

percent of normal precipitation Colorado past 30 days

In fact, most of the eastern half of the state is running at a surplus now. See how much rain your city received from this most recent storm by clicking here.

So, where do we go from here?

The rain we have gotten so far this year has created a solid buffer for our water year. This will be advantageous just in case we run below average in future months. But, the wettest months of the year are yet to come, which are July and August.

The late summer monsoon pattern did not come in 2020, which exasperated this drought heading into the winter of 2020-2021.

As Coloradoans, in our high elevation semi-arid climate, it's always a good idea to err on the side of caution when it comes to water conservation. Continue to follow the water-wise guidelines from Colorado Springs Utilities. Only water three times a week, between 6 pm and 10 am.