Drought Update 6/26/08:

June 26th, 2008:

Serious drought concerns are expanding across the Western US and that includes us in Colorado.  See the Drought Monitor below:

The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The maps, which are based on analysis of the data, are released each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
For a .pdf version of the Colorado Drought Monitor, click here.
To view tabular statistics for Colorado, click here.
For more information on the Drought Impact Reporter click here.
For local details and impacts, please contact your State Climatologist or Regional Climate Center.

 Extreme drought conditions continue to develop, over Prowers and Baca Counties.  These areas even saw rain last week !  Another interesting development this week, is the "abnormally dry" category moving westward into the mountains.  Keep in mind, the mountains saw record snowfall this Winter.  However, there hasn't been much rain to follow up the snow.  All of the vegetation is growing due to the snow, but if we don't get rain to keep it growing, it will dry out quickly.  That isn't a good sign.  We have been dealing with grass fires lately.  Pretty soon, I fear we will be talking about forest fires.  Adding insult to injury, dry lightning will continue to provide a spark for fires to get started.  As I said, not a good situation... 

The pattern is not conducive for improvement.  In fact, it is just the opposite.  Below is the forecast jet stream position next weekend.  Notice how far north the core of the jet ( colors ) is located.  This is pretty typical for this time of year, so it should come as no real surprise.

Under that large ridge of high pressure, it is going to be hot !  The graphic below shows a lot of heat across the western and southwestern US.  All of that purple on the map equates to a lot of 90's and some 100's.

I have been saying this for the past few weeks... we did not have a June.  We are going to have two July's and an August.  That means a lot of heat and sparse rainfall.  The one sleeper in the equation is the Monsoon Season.  Some of the computer models suggest that we may get some Monsoonal moisture up here in the next couple of weeks.  I am skeptical, because the pattern has yet to even indicate it may change.  Things can change rapidly around here, but I expect things to get much worse, before it gets better.

Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe

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