Strong La Nina conditions have helped to produce a very mild and very dry fall and winter season across much of southeast Colorado. Occasional cold air intrusions and a few more opportunities for precipitation are possible, especially across the eastern mountains and plains.
However, the current US Drought Monitor continues to indicate severe drought conditions across Kiowa, Prowers, Bent, Otero, Crowley and Pueblo counties. There remains an increased fire danger concern, especially across the southeast plains, with dry fuels and grasses and strong winds.
Agriculture has been impacted with CPC and VIC soil moisture calculations showed some improvement across the area over February, however much of southeast Colorado still has deficiencies of 30 to 60 percent of seasonal norms.
Temperatures were at or slightly above average for January. The primary observation site at Alamosa was 4.9 degrees above the monthly average. Colorado Springs was 1.2 degrees higher and Pueblo’s site reported 2.4 degrees below average for January.
Precipitation in January was below average along the Continental Divide with at or slightly below average readings across southeast Colorado. The primary site at Pueblo was 0.04 inches below average, receiving 0.29 inches of precipitation for January. Colorado Springs was down slightly reporting 0.11 inches.
Annual Precipitation Figures:
Eads reported 14.76 inches, off 0.67 of normal; Lamar was 10.84, off 4.98 of normal; Campo 7S was at 16.18 inches, off 1.03; Walsh1W was 16.76, off 1.19 inches; John Martin Dam was 11.65 inches for the year, off 1.82; Las Animas showed an increase at 14.63 at 1.64 above the norm; La Junta 20S was 12.29, off 2.57 inches; Ordway increased at 12.31, 1.00 above the norm and Rocky Ford was at 14.15 for the year, an increase of 2.28 inches.
As of February 1st mountain snow pack has decreased though running above average overall. The Arkansas River Basin was measuring 103% of average with storage levels at 91%. The upper Rio Grande Basin dropped to 80% of average with storage levels at 102% of normal.
The CPC outlook for March and April indicates that temperatures will most likely be above normal with below normal precipitation.