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Current U.S. Drought Monitor Conditions for Colorado

The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is updated each Thursday to show the location and intensity of drought across the country. This map shows drought conditions across Colorado using a five-category system, from Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions to Exceptional Drought (D4). The USDM is a joint effort of the National Drought Mitigation Center, USDA, and NOAA. Learn more.

The following state-specific drought impacts were compiled by the National Drought Mitigation Center. While these impacts are not exhaustive, they can help provide a clearer picture of drought in Colorado. 

D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Hay production decreases; rangeland is dry
  • Irrigation begins sooner
100
of CO
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Rangeland growth is stunted; very little hay is available
  • Dryland crops suffer
  • Wildfires increase
98.6
of CO
D2 - Severe Drought
  • CRP lands suffer
  • Farmers reduce planting; producers sell cattle
  • Fire season is extended
88.8
of CO
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Pasture conditions worsen
  • City landscapes are dying
  • Large fires develop
56.9
of CO
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Dust storms and topsoil removal are widespread
  • Agricultural and recreational economic losses are large
15.9
of CO
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Hay production decreases; rangeland is dry
  • Irrigation begins sooner
100.0
of CO
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Rangeland growth is stunted; very little hay is available
  • Dryland crops suffer
  • Wildfires increase
100.0
of CO
D2 - Severe Drought
  • CRP lands suffer
  • Farmers reduce planting; producers sell cattle
  • Fire season is extended
90.2
of CO
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Pasture conditions worsen
  • City landscapes are dying
  • Large fires develop
58.9
of CO
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Dust storms and topsoil removal are widespread
  • Agricultural and recreational economic losses are large
17.8
of CO
D0 - Abnormally Dry
  • Hay production decreases; rangeland is dry
  • Irrigation begins sooner
100.0
of CO
D1 - Moderate Drought
  • Rangeland growth is stunted; very little hay is available
  • Dryland crops suffer
  • Wildfires increase
100.0
of CO
D2 - Severe Drought
  • CRP lands suffer
  • Farmers reduce planting; producers sell cattle
  • Fire season is extended
90.7
of CO
D3 - Extreme Drought
  • Pasture conditions worsen
  • City landscapes are dying
  • Large fires develop
73.1
of CO
D4 - Exceptional Drought
  • Dust storms and topsoil removal are widespread
  • Agricultural and recreational economic losses are large
24.9
of CO
Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Source(s):

NDMCNOAAUSDA

Updates Weekly  -  02/23/21
Updates Weekly  -  02/16/21
Updates Weekly  -  01/26/21

Explore Drought Conditions by City and County

Summary

View up-to-date drought conditions down to the city and county level, including temperature, and precipitation conditions, key drought indicators, outlooks, historical conditions, and water supply, agriculture, and public health maps.

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Drought in Colorado from 2000–Present

The U.S. Drought Monitor started in 2000. Since 2000, the longest duration of drought (D1–D4) in Colorado lasted 395 weeks beginning on October 30, 2001, and ending on May 19, 2009. The most intense period of drought occurred the week of July 16, 2002, where D4 affected 34.37% of Colorado land.

    The U.S. Drought Monitor (USDM) is a national map released every Thursday, showing parts of the U.S. that are currently in drought. The USDM relies on drought experts to synthesize the best available data and work with local observers to interpret the information. The USDM also incorporates ground truthing and information about how drought is affecting people, via a network of more than 450 observers across the country, including state climatologists, National Weather Service staff, Extension agents, and hydrologists. Learn more.

    The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is an index to characterize meteorological drought on a range of timescales, ranging from 1 to 72 months. The SPI is the number of standard deviations that observed cumulative precipitation deviates from the climatological average. NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information produce the 9-month SPI values below on a monthly basis, going back to 1895. Learn more.

    Tree-rings are used to extend the instrumental record of drought to over 2,000 years. The Living Blended Drought Product (LBDP) is a recalibrated data series of June-July-August Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI) values in the lower 48 U.S. states. This dataset blends tree-ring reconstructions and instrumental data to estimate the average summer PMDI values, which extend over 2,000 years in some parts of the U.S. Learn more.

Report Impacts

Tell us how drought is impacting your community by submitting a condition monitoring report. Your submissions help us better understand how drought is affecting local conditions. 

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