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Huge improvement in Colorado drought, thanks to recent snows

A round of widespread recent snowfall is putting a substantial dent into the statewide drought picture.

COLORADO, USA — All of that recent snow is making a big difference.

Feet upon feet of snow pounded the mountains in the last 10 days, and coupled with a significant late December Front Range snowstorm, Colorado's drought situation is markedly better than what it was just a few weeks ago.

The official weekly U.S. Drought Monitor update on Thursday reduced the amount of Colorado under some form of drought from about 86% down to 60%. The amount of Colorado in severe or worse was cut from about 31% down to just 13%.

That's a huge decline in just one week, and it mostly owes to an atmospheric river of moisture pounding the mountains over the weekend with repeated rounds of snowfall, and last week's Front Range snowstorm.

Blue areas in the map below represent areas that are completely drought-free, while orange and red areas mean places that are experiencing severe or worse drought conditions.

Credit: KUSA

Statewide snowpack levels are sitting well above 100% of their season-to-date averages, another indicator of just how much moisture the state has received of late, particularly in the mountains.

Credit: KUSA

Denver, meanwhile, is officially drought-free for the first time since Aug. 31, 2021. A recent heavy, wet snowstorm broke all kinds of precipitation records. While it snapped trees and even some power lines, it also brought an unusually high amount of midwinter precipitation to the Front Range, bringing the Denver area plenty of beneficial moisture.

While more light mountain snowfall is likely on Friday, it appears Colorado's wild recent run of weather will generally calm down some in the next few days.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Colorado Climate 


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