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Record Rain Wipes Out Drought, Rewrites 121-Year Climate Record In Colorado Springs

DENVER (CBS4) - It's a May that many won't soon forget, especially in southeast Colorado.

One year ago the region was gripped by a multi-year drought that created conditions similar to those of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s.

lajunta hay fire
A hay fire in La Junta during Sept. 2014. (credit: La Junta Fire Dept.)

Grass fires were becoming a common scene and widespread dust storms were a frequent visitor.

One year later it's a completely different story after a month of record rain essentially wiped out the drought.

Drought conditions across Colorado near the end of May 2014. (credit:
Drought conditions across Colorado near the end of May 2015. (credit:

Many of the major reporting stations in southeast Colorado have received record May moisture.

But of particular note is Colorado Springs with 8.13 inches of water as of May 29.

Not only is 2015 now the wettest May for the city but it's also the wettest month since records began in Nov. 1894.

Some places in and around Colorado Springs have seen even higher totals.

The good news has come at the expense of occasional flooding that has resulted in some property damage both in the Colorado Springs vicinity and along the Arkansas River.

But water storage at local reservoirs is higher than it has been in years and that is great news for recreation and agriculture.

The National Weather Service office in Pueblo has created a detailed report of the rain's impact.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is calling for the wet conditions to potentially last well into the summer across the region.

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