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Severe Drought In Colorado Jumps 15% In One Week, Now Includes The Metro Area

DENVER (CBS4) - Drought in Colorado has been worsening in recent weeks thanks to mostly dry weather this April. This past week has been particularly bad for drought.

Statewide data collected on April 19th and released by officials on April 21st showed 87% of Colorado was experiencing drought, but only 33% of the state had at least severe drought.

Drought Monitor Archive
(source: CBS)

Then in just one week, the drought data released on April 28th showed a troubling 15% jump in total area of Colorado with at least severe drought. Most of the change was on the Eastern Plains and also the I-25 urban corridor north of Denver.

Drought Monitor
(source: CBS)

A closer view of the Front Range shows most of Denver's northern suburbs like Broomfield, Thornton, Northglenn, Brighton, and Erie all have severe drought. Most of Northern Colorado including Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley is also now classified as having severe drought.

Drought Front Range
(source: CBS)

For the rest of the metro area including Aurora, Lakewood, Highland Ranch, and Arvada, drought conditions remained classified as "moderate". The Boulder area is also moderate while the foothills of Jefferson, Boulder, and Larimer County are considered "abnormally dry" which is the precursor to drought.

There was some very limited moisture in the Denver metro area on Wednesday but not much. Thursday is expected to stay dry all day.

Rain Totals
(source: CBS)

There was no measurable precipitation at the airport on Wednesday and therefore this month remains the driest April on record in Denver.

Driest Aprils
(source: CBS)

Looking ahead, there is a small chance for afternoon rain showers on Friday but most areas will likely experience more wind than rain. Then the next chance for moisture will wait until late Sunday into early Monday. With a 50% chance for rain, it's the best chance for moisture in the metro area in several weeks. It won't end the drought, but it could improve what has quickly turned into a grim situation.

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