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megadrought

megadrought
megadrought

Colorado is expecting another explosive wildfire year, but the state may be more prepared this time

The state’s Wildfire Preparedness Plan, released Thursday, notes that even as 2021 is shaping up to repeat the chaos of last year, agencies are collaborating more and have better support.

Wildfire

Study: Drought-breaking rains more rare, erratic in Colorado and the West

The consequences of the intense dry periods that pummeled the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau were severe — more intense and dangerous wildfires, parched croplands and not enough vegetation to support livestock and wildlife. And it's getting worse.

Environment
Sunrise brings mist and fog to Blue Mesa Reservoir near Gunnison, Colorado on January 22, 2021. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the statewide snowpack is currently at 73 percent of normal and the Gunnison Basin is at 50-70% of normal. Such low amounts of snow may create drought conditions. Blue Mesa is Colorado’s 2nd largest reservoir was formed by Blue Mesa Dam, is a 390-foot-tall earthen fill dam across the Gunnison River near Gunnison, Colorado, completed in 1966 by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Colorado River Storage Project. The Colorado River Storage Project was created to manage the Colorado River, provide water storage, flood control and create hydroelectric power. Blue Mesa Reservoir is approximately 30 miles long with 96 miles of shoreline and spreads over 14 square miles in area. The reservoir can hold 940,700 acre feet of water. The Gunnison River is the Colorado River's 5th largest tributary. (Dean Krakel, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Colorado’s major snowstorm only made a dent in the drought. These maps and graphs explain what’s going on.

The South Platte and Arkansas river basins are closer to average after last week’s precipitation, but the Western Slope remains painfully dry.

Climate