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Despite Recent Rain, Drought In Western Colorado Has Become Even Worse

DENVER (CBS4) - Even after a handful of rain events for many areas on Colorado's Western Slope in recent weeks, there has yet to be any improvement to the drought and some areas have become even worse.

A week ago 17% of western Colorado had "exceptional" drought which is the worst drought classification possible. This week 18% of the state is classified as having exceptional drought and almost 30% of Colorado still has at least extreme drought. That percentage has not change significantly in four months.

(source: CBS)

It should be noted much of the recent rain collected in areas such as Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, Montrose, Telluride, and Durango came after the drought monitor released Thursday morning was compiled on July 13. Drought also usually takes a notoriously long time to develop and can take even longer to disappear.

It has now been about eight weeks since drought was completely eliminated from the entire Front Range in May after very wet spring weather. That same wet weather never materialized west of the Continental Divide early this year and that is what has created the lopsided drought situation now found in Colorado.

The contrast between areas separated by a short distance from one side of the Divide to the other is stark. Silver Plume in Clear Creek County has no drought whatsoever but Kremmling has exceptional drought in Grand County. The two towns are separated by only 40 miles!

40 Miles
(source: CBS)

Isolated to widely scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible in western Colorado through this upcoming weekend but rainfall will be limited. There is also a 30% chance for afternoon thunderstorms in the Denver metro area will fewer areas getting wet compared to Wednesday.

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