WeatherWeather Science


February snow slowly reduces drought in Colorado

Steve Shugart Westcliffe Sangre de Cristos mountains
Posted at 12:34 PM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 14:34:24-05

So far in February, the Colorado Rockies have seen several 1-3 foot snowstorms. Plus the plains have seen several rounds of snow.

The latest snowpack update shows the state is up to 91% of average. If all the snow across the state were to be melted and flowed into their respective rivers and reservoirs and then compared to average levels, we are 91% to where we should be.

The US drought monitor has also analyzed the snow's impact on soils and plants, showing a reduction of drought this month. Exceptional drought is now at about 18% compared to about 25% on January 26, 2021. Extreme drought has decreased from 73% to 58% in that time. Abnormally dry, moderate, and severe drought levels changed less than 1% or not at all over that time.

Now that we are heading into the snowiest months of the year in late winter and early spring, there is hope for less severe drought conditions heading into spring. If we make it through this La Nina winter without drought conditions worsening, I will consider that a win.