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Relentless Mountain Snow Is Downsizing The Drought

DENVER (CBS4) - Every Thursday the official U.S. Drought Monitor is released. And this week's release shows more good news in the long road to recovery from the drought most of Colorado experienced in 2018.

As of this week, the worst drought status known as Exceptional Drought has almost vanished from Colorado. Meanwhile the second worst drought status, Extreme Drought, covers about half the area it did just a week ago with 10.2% of Colorado experiencing that severity of drought.

Looking at the bigger picture, 67% percent of Colorado is still under some lower stage of drought. And if areas that are "abnormally dry" such as the entire Denver metro area are included, the percentage is closer to 92% of Colorado. So a lot of recovery is still needed to be drought free.

A promising sign that further drought improvement is likely are the excellent snowpack numbers. All eight river basins in Colorado are running far above normal with snowpack for the third week in February.

And the snowpack numbers should only getting better in the coming days at least for the basins in the southwest part of Colorado. Ample Pacific moisture streaming into the state will produce heavy snow in the mountains south of I-70 through Friday. A Winter Storm Warning continues for the San Juan Mountains and the Four Corners region through Friday afternoon. Snow will be measured in feet at ski areas like Purgatory and Wolf Creek.

Father north there is a Winter Weather Advisory from 2 p.m. Thursday through 11 p.m. Friday for the I-70 mountain corridor above Georgetown. The mountains east of Vail Pass will see 6-14 inches including ski areas such as Breckenridge, Keystone, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, and Winter Park. West of Vail Pass snow totals above 9,000 feet should be 8-16 inches for Vail, Beaver Creek, Aspen, Snowmass, Ski Cooper, and Crested Butte.

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