PUEBLO, Colo. — 2020 was a very dry year across the state, now a majority of Colorado is demonstrating extreme or exceptional drought.
What a difference a year makes. According to the very first drought monitor of 2020, only about 13 percent of the state was under severe drought at the time and at the end of 2020. Over 90% of the state in at least severe drought with over 27% ranked as exceptional drought.
“It takes a long time to get into a drought, and subsequently it takes an even longer time to get out,” said Greg Heavener with the National Weather Service. “If we don’t get enough storm activity, then we’re probably going to enter into a pretty volatile spring as far as fire is concerned.”
Not only are wildfires a risk from this pattern but also some sectors of the economy, like ski resorts, agriculture, and livestock.
Now we can hope that we have a snowy Spring and that snow is a moisture rich snowfall.
“If you have some snows typically this time of the year, they are more fluffy snow, so there is not a lot of water content in them. We may get 4 inches of snow but maybe only a 1/10 or so of an inch of actual liquid within that snow,” said Heavener. “In the springs typically you see heavier snow, they tend to be more dense as far as water goes. There is still some hope as we head into the Spring of 2021. we will see more snow that will be denser.”