Drought in Southeast Colorado

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1 Drought in Southeast Colorado Nolan Doesken and Roger Pielke, Sr. Colorado Climate Center Prepared by Tara Green and Odie Bliss 1

2 Historical Perspective on Drought Tourism Farming Wells Fishing and Riverbeds 2

3 3

4 Through

5 Through

6 Rocky Ford Water Year Time Series ( ) Years Precipitation (Inches) 1890

7 Colorado Statewide Annual Temperatures through Colorado Average Annual Temperature ( ) Temperature (degrees F) Year From NOAA, National Climatic Data Center 7

8 How we got into this drought! 8

9 9

10 10

11 11

12 12

13 Reservoir Storage Statewide Reservoir Levels for Colorado Percent of Average Oct Oct Oct Oct Oct Feb Date Provisional Data Provided by NRCS 13

14 Rocky Ford Water Year Time Series ( ) Years Precipitation (Inches) 1890

15 Where do we stand now? 15

16 Independence Pass Snotel for Water Year

17 Hoosier Pass Snotel for Water Year

18 18

19 Temperature - Water Year Departure from average, degree F Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Eastern Plains Foothills Mountains Western Valleys 19

20 20

21 What May Be Ahead in

22 What Happens Next We have never experienced 2 consecutive extreme statewide drought years. Past multi-year drought, characterized by one extreme year preceded and followed by other dry year. Entire Region rarely all recovers quickly and at the same time. Hope for the best, plan for the worst!! 22

23 Rocky Ford Calendar Year Average Precipitation based on Averages 2.5 Precipitation (Inches) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Months 23

24 Monthly Average Precipitation 3.5 Precip itatio n ( in ch es) Lamar Cheyenne Wells Walsh Center Fruita Rocky Ford Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Month 24

25 Precipitation A few storms contribute a large fraction of annual precipitation while many small events contribute a small fraction. 25

26 Precipitation (Inches) Rocky Ford Daily Accumulated Precipitation for Years 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 (thru Jan) and 30-Year Average 1999 Accumulated 2000 Accumulated 2001 Accumulated 2002 Accumulated 2003 Accumulated Accumulated Average 0 January February March April May June July Month August September October November December 26

27 Positive Indicators Late winter snows Cool spring Multi-day precipitation Wet Snow Low intensity rainfall Light winds High humidity Abundant cloud cover 27

28 Negative Indicators Little late winter snow Missed opportunities Warm spring Brief, sporadic precipitation High intensity rainfall Frequent, strong winds Low humidity Abundant sunshine 28

29 Current Indicators El Niño still present Unfavorable Pacific decadal oscillation Missed opportunities February better but not a good indicator Wet often follows dry Most extreme dry periods last one year 29

30 Temperature March-May May 2003 From the Colorado Prediction Center 30

31 Precipitation March-May May 2003 From the Colorado Prediction Center 31

32 Temperature June-Aug 2003 From the Colorado Prediction Center 32

33 Precipitation June-Aug 2003 From the Colorado Prediction Center 33

34 COAGMET Weather Data for Agriculture Automated weather stations with daily and hourly readings of: Temperature Humidity Wind Precipitation Solar energy Evapotranspiration 34

35 Colorado Climate Magazine Good bedtime reading about the climate of Colorado -- recent and historic $15/year subscription pays printing and mailing costs 35

36 CoCo RaHS YOU CAN HELP! 36

37 Colorado Climate Center Colorado State University Data and Power Point Presentations available for downloading click on Drought then click on Presentations 37

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