Colorado Is Really, Really Dry Right Now

The July 14 Colorado drought map from the U.S. Drought Monitor.The July 14 Colorado drought map from the U.S. Drought Monitor.U.S. Drought Monitor
The July 14 Colorado drought map from the U.S. Drought Monitor.

Nearly all of Colorado is in a drought. 

According to the most recent map from the U.S. Drought Monitor, 95 percent of the state is experiencing drought conditions and 37 percent of Colorado — mostly in the southern half of the state — is in an extreme drought.

About 47 percent of the state’s residents live in areas that are abnormally dry. That’s about 2.3 million people.

The monsoon season usually starts to kick in this month, but drought monitor David Miskus with the Climate Prediction Center said the forecast outlook might not offer much relief to the driest spots in Colorado. 

“Overall, if you just go with the odds for both the one and three months outlooks for August, and August through October, it's looking warm and odds are somewhat dry,” he said. “So that does not bode well for the current drought in the Southwest and Colorado."

At this time last year, the entire state was drought-free. Miskus said the drought crept in after that. 

“It started last year when the monsoon kind of failed,” he said.

Nearly 60 percent of the state is in either severe or extreme drought. Conditions of such drought include parched ground, stressed plant life and an increased fire risk.

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