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NIDIS Intermountain West
Drought Early Warning System
November 14, 2017


Current U.S. Drought Monitor Depiction


Recommended Changes

Summary: November 14, 2017

Last week the Intermountain West region was mostly dry seeing less than 0.10" of precipitation over most of the region.  The high elevations in Colorado along the Divide, the Uintah Mountains in northeast Utah and northern Sublette County, WY saw between 0.25 and 0.50".  The Front Range in eastern Colorado saw similar amounts, in the 0.25 to 0.50" range, with parts of Boulder and Larimer counties seeing up to 1.00".

Standardized Precipitation Index for most of the IMW is on the dry side of the scale for the past 30-days with the exception of northwestern Wyoming.  The short-term SPIs are mainly in the -1 to -2 range for much of western Colorado and most of Utah. Longer term SPIs are still dry in the 0 to -2 range for most of the UCRB.  

Eastern Colorado SPIs are in the 0 to -1.5 range for the short term and improves nicely with most SPIs in the 0 to +1.5 range for the 6 month, especially southeastern Colorado.

While still early in the snowpack season, basins in Wyoming and northern Colorado are seeing near normal accumulations for this early in the season, however south of the Colorado River and in Utah snowpack is much below normal.  There is still plenty of time to recover as we have seen in recent years.  Above normal temperatures this month for the southern part of the UCRB are not helping the snowpack.

Streamflow through the Upper Colorado River Basin is still looking fine with a majority of the reporting streamgages in the normal streamflow range.  More below normal flows are starting to show up in the basin, along the White River and the southern portions of the basin.  Eastern Colorado streamflow still looks great with a majority of gages in the normal and above normal range.

The precipitation outlook for the next week looks favorable for precipitation in the mountains and dry on the plains.   

Recommendations

UCRB:  Status quo is recommended. The Four Corners Region continues to be our area of focus as the area saw a weak 2017 monsoon. The region did remain dry over the past week, but D0 and D1 currently appear to be in the right places based on current precipitation and soil moisture indicators and on the ground reports

Eastern Colorado:  Status quo is recommended.  The short-term has been dry in southeast Colorado, during the dry time of year.  With the above normal water year 2017 covering the recent dryness and lack of on the ground impacts, degradation is not justified.

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