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Colorado’s drought persists, with abnormally dry conditions covering 83 percent of the state

A bright spot in the data is Colorado's snowpack, which is above the average and the normal for this time of year

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Colorado’s drought is persisting, with about 83 percent of the state listed under some level of abnormally dry conditions and a growing area of severe and extreme aridity. 

A U.S. Drought Monitor Report released Thursday shows no significant improvement in drought conditions across Colorado dating back to Oct. 9. 

Although the percentage of the state experiencing some level of abnormal dryness improved slightly from the last week of September and first week of October, that percentage has generally been rising since the spring. 

The U.S. Drought Monitor’s report for Colorado as of Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Handout)

The Drought Monitor said recent moisture in the eastern half of the state did help. 

“Colorado saw improvements in response to recent moisture, which reduced short- and long-term precipitation deficits and helped surface and soil moisture recover,” the agency said in an analysis of drought conditions. “Changes were limited to the eastern half of the state, which saw the removal of extreme drought and reductions in severe and moderate drought.”

A bright spot in the data was Colorado’s snowpack which is at 144 percent of its normal level and 111 percent of its average so far. Snowpack last year was far below the normal and average. 

Colorado’s snowpack levels as of Nov. 1. (Provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture)

There are hopes that an El Nino weather pattern could help improve conditions in the southern and southwest parts of Colorado, which have been hardest hit by the recent drought.

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