February 22nd Drought & La Nina Update

It's no big secret that we haven't had much of a Winter.  Precipitation totals are running well below normal for areas east of the mountains.  Mountain locations have done pretty well this Winter, with a snowpack running 112% of normal.  Thought it would be prudent to provide an update on the cause ( La Nina ) and the current state of our drought.

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.

The Abnormally Dry category encompasses most of eastern Colorado.  The far Southeast Plains have a Moderate Drought going right now.  I would expect most of the Abnormally Dry category to be updated to Moderate Drought status pretty soon.  The upcoming week is going to be dry and warm, with no relief in sight.

Below is a graphic depicting Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies.  Notice that much of the Central and Eastern Pacific Ocean is running about 1 to 1.5 degrees C below normal.  That's La Nina my friends...

Current Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly Plot

 By late this Spring, it looks like La Nina may disappear.  Right now, it looks like it will be gone by the time the "monsoon" season arrives.  Thus if we have a dry Spring ( which it looks like we will ), we may follow it with a nice rainy Summer.  Rarely is it ever perfect, as we usually see too much or not enough moisture.  Like I always say, " the extremes make the norm". 

Chief Meteorologist Brian Bledsoe

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