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

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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Jesse Paul is a Denver-based political reporter and editor at The Colorado Sun, covering the state legislature, Congress and local politics. He is the author of The Unaffiliated newsletter and also occasionally fills in on breaking news coverage.

A Colorado College graduate, Jesse worked at The Denver Post from June 2014 until July 2018, when he joined The Sun. He was also an intern at The Gazette in Colorado Springs and The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, his hometown.

Jesse has won awards for long form feature writing, public service reporting, sustained coverage and deadline news reporting.

Email: Twitter: @jesseapaul