Drought concerns grow with little help in sight

Published: Mar. 1, 2018 at 9:02 PM MST
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The drought monitor for our state puts some of Western Colorado in the "extreme" category.

Southern Mesa County, southwestern Delta County and most of Montrose County are under "Extreme Drought" conditions. The rest of Mesa and Delta counties are under "Severe Drought" conditions.

There are some chances for rain and snow the next few days, but it might not be enough.

"We're going to need more than one definitely," said Aldis Strautins, the service hydrologist for the Grand Junction National Weather Service.

"For the rest of the season to get up to normal we would need about 200 percent of our normal snowpack from now through rest of the spring."

Western Colorado is at around 70 percent of normal its snowpack as of Thursday. But others are in worse shape, The Grand Mesa is at about half of its normal snowpack, which has people concerned about what that means for spring and summer.

"Mostly I'm concerned about farmers and the long-term implications of the lack of snow we have," said Samuel Hall. "Agriculture is such a big part of our community."

February saw some recovery, with some areas at or near average. While March is one of our wetter months, long-term forecasts right now don't offer much hope.

"The first week or two in March is looking slightly below average right now," Strautins said.