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Bad To Worse: Almost Three-Quarters Of Colorado Now Experiencing Severe Drought

DENVER (CBS4) - The troubling drought situation in Colorado continues to get worse. Weekly numbers updated Thursday morning show virtually the entire state under moderate drought and 73% of Colorado now experiencing severe drought including parts of the Denver metro area.

The official drought monitor is released each Thursday morning and for the last few weeks it has shown 100% of the state at least "abnormally dry" which is the precursor to drought. But now nearly the entire state (99%) is experiencing at least moderate drought with the exception of small areas in Weld and Kit Carson Counties where rain has been somewhat more common in recent months.

(source: CBS)

Otherwise it's just bad news.

When it comes to the next highest drought category (severe drought), 73% of Colorado including most of Jefferson County has reached the severe category which is alarming. A week ago only 61% of the state was experiencing severe drought.

Overall, it's the worse drought situation in the state since the exceptionally hot and dry summer of 2012.

A quick look at precipitation in Denver tells the story. Only 0.02" of rain has been measured this month, and the city is 3.66" below normal with rain this summer and 4.72" below normal with precipitation this year including melted snow earlier this year.

(source: CBS)

And unfortunately, the weather on Tuesday will do very little to put a dent in the drought. Hot and mainly dry weather will be found statewide.

(source: CBS)

There is a chance for afternoon and/or evening thunderstorms in many areas but most storms will cause far more wind and lightning than beneficial rainfall. And some areas could even experiencing dry microburst winds up to 60 mph. A "marginal" threat for severe weather has been highlighted for all areas roughly along and east of the Continental Divide.

(source: CBS)

There are some signs our weather pattern could shift to less hot and less dry weather by the end of the week. Fingers crossed!

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