Drought Update... July 10, 2008

Despite some isolated storms that did provide some decent rain on the Southeast Plains, the drought situation has continued to intensify.  The Southeast Plains are in the midst of a Moderate to Exceptional drought, depending on your location.  We haven't seen it this dry for over 2 years, and it doesn't look like it will change anytime soon.  The really bad part about this setup, is that it is getting dry in the mountains too.  We haven't see many fires pop up in the "high country" this year, but that may be about ready to change.  All of that Winter moisture has resulted in lush vegetation, that is ripe to dry out, and in a hurry.  Below is the Drought Monitor, and it clearly shows our situation:

 

A week from now, the GFS shows the ridge still over our area and very reluctant to move.  The graphic below shows the main jet core well to our north.

It also looks like the heat will continue.  All of that purple on the graphic below is the heat the West has been dealing with for the past few months.

I am starting to wonder if this pattern is going to break this Summer, or if we will have to wait until the Fall.  No doubt, it is a tough situation for area farmers and ranchers.

Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe

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  • by Josh Location: Monument on Aug 1, 2008 at 11:26 AM
    Julio you are right. People don't realize what is going on. This is just gonna get worse.
  • by Julio Location: 80907 on Jul 29, 2008 at 04:48 AM
    In addition to the statistics below, I read on the KRDO website that the first 7 months of 2008 (Jan - July) are the DRIEST EVER ON RECORD!!! This is soooo much worse than I think anyone in CS realizes!
  • by Julio Location: 80907 on Jul 28, 2008 at 07:02 PM
    Heres some statistics I dug up on the National Weather Service website. We're on course to tie for the third hottest month (average temps) over the last 105 years. We're also on course to be the 4th driest July in the last 105 years. I don't think people around here realize how bad this is. Remember that horrible drought summer of 2003? We're going to get worse than that. And you weather guys say that August isn't goin to be any better right? I know you're sick of me asking, Brian, but what does the short term future look like? What about winter, any more info on that slight chance of an el nino returning? I can't forget that dreadful summer of 2003 and the annoying water restrictions that followed.
  • by Brian Location: WXCenter on Jul 27, 2008 at 08:42 PM
    Lee, the "monsoon" as some people call it has been shifted to our south and west this year ( especially to the south ). Plus, the southwest part of the state had so much snow last Winter, they will be in good shape for quite a while. Here on the east slope, we've had quite a tough time. No real snow to speak of this last Winter ( minus the Wet Mountains ), and not much rain this Summer. That's Colorado though, either too much or not enough. Thanks for reading our blog.
  • by Lee Location: Widefield, CO on Jul 25, 2008 at 07:23 AM
    Brian, Is it me or does the wx pattern, that normally run from the south, to the north (Front Range) seem to have slipped to the west (Montrose).. Talking to folks over there it seems pretty green and they've had quit a bit moisture.
  • by Brian Location: Weather Center on Jul 21, 2008 at 09:31 PM
    Julio, it is bad already and going to get worse before it gets better. The drought is not only intensifying, but it is expanding. We've seen our share of fires at the lower elevations, but now the attention is going to turn to the mountains. Unfortunately, our fire season is likely going to continue and get worse. Thanks for reading our blog.
  • by Julio Location: 80907 on Jul 21, 2008 at 04:08 AM
    Seriously Brian...how bad is this drought going to get? I was looking at our total precip for the year so far...we're over 7 inches below the normal! This could get pretty bad fast, right? Any changes that may indicate that August may be better or does it look like more of the same?
  • by ed Location: widefield on Jul 17, 2008 at 08:47 PM
    This summer weather has got me depressed. EVERY day is hotter than normal and we've gotten pretty much zero rain...everything is going to dry up and we're gonna have fire after fire after fire. I hope this is just a cycle and not a trend for the next several years. Dry and warm winters...hot nd dry summers...dry fall...dry spring..everything will be brown before we now it. We'll start looking like west texas for goodness sakes. And so much for the "storm" that was predicted for Thursday...nothing but a sprinkle or two at best.
  • by Brian Location: Weather Center on Jul 15, 2008 at 05:30 PM
    The improvement is predicated on the monsoonal moisture arriving from the south. So far, it has been squashed to our south. I am reluctant to get too excited about this pattern changing, because it hasn't changed this Summer. Traditionally, August is our wettest month. That does give us a little bit of hope... My thoughts are still mixed on what happens this Winter. If we transition to an El Nino, as some computer models are suggesting, the chances of above normal Winter moisture are good. If we stay neutral, the Fall and early Winter will likely be pretty dry. I should know more in the next month or so. Thanks for reading our blog.
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