Watch CBS News

Colorado Climate: Healthy Snowpack Helps Slowly Wipe Out Remaining Drought

DENVER (CBS4) - The weekly drought report released Thursday morning included another drop in the percent of Colorado experiencing drought or abnormally dry conditions. Recent snow is the primary reason.

Less than 43% of Colorado is now experiencing drought which is down about 1% from a week ago. About 3% of the state is experiencing severe drought which remains unchanged from a week ago. The severe drought includes the Cortez, Durango, and Springfield areas.

(source: CBS)

Meanwhile no areas along the urban corridor from Pueblo to Fort Collins are experiencing any stage of drought. Most of the northern and central mountains are also drought-free which is largely thanks to the extremely healthy snowpack.

While snow has been far less in the mountains this week compared to last week, most river basins in the state remain above normal with snowpack for the final week in February. The statewide average for snowpack is 111% of normal.

(source: CBS)

It is not a coincidence the two basins with the relative lowest snow pack in the state (the San Juan/Dolores and Gunnison basins) are also in the area with the most significant drought. This is because most winter storms that have hit the mountains in recent weeks have largely missed the southern mountains. Even so, snowpack is still in far better shape in southwest Colorado compared to a year ago.

colorado flag mountains rocky generic
(credit: Matt Kroschel/CBS)

Additional light snow is possible mainly for mountain areas north of Highway 50 on Thursday. Additional chances should return to all mountains starting Sunday.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.