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Intermountain West Drought & Climate Outlook Webinar: March 12, 2024

Event Date
March 12, 2024
Event Time
1:00 pm - 1:35 pm

As of March 12, 2024, current drought conditions vary widely across the Intermountain West. The southern states in the region continue to sustain drought conditions with 88.2% of New Mexico in Moderate to Exceptional Drought (D1–D4) and 48.6% of Arizona in Moderate to Extreme Drought (D1–D3). The northern states are reporting less drought with 21.6% of Wyoming in drought, 10% of Colorado, and only 3.8% of Utah in Moderate to Severe drought (D1–D2).

This webinar examined current conditions for the Intermountain West and the forecasted drought conditions for Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Gretel Follingstad (


Welcome to the Intermountain West Drought Briefing 

Speaker: Dr. Gretel Follingstad | Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES); NOAA’s National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS)

  • Welcome to the March 2024 Intermountain West Drought Briefing:
    • View past webinar recordings at
    • Introducing the speakers: 
      • Intermountain West Conditions & Drought Outlook: Jon Meyer, Utah Climate Center
      • CoCoRaHS: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network: Henry Reges, CoCoRaHS National Coordinator; Meteorologist, Colorado State University
      • NIDIS’s fourth Westwide Snow Drought Update for Water Year 2024 



Current Conditions and Drought Outlook 

Speaker: John Meyer | Utah Climate Center

  • A little more than half the Intermountain West is experiencing drought conditions, with 30% of the region considered in Moderate Drought (D1) or worse.
  • Wintertime storms have delivered nearly normal snowpack for this time of year across most of the Intermountain West.
  • While little short-term drought pressure is occurring in the region, each of the Four Corners states exhibits remnant signs of the longer-term drought impacts.
  • The Colorado River Basin spring runoff streamflows are anticipated to be below normal for most watersheds, with the exception of central and northern Utah and northwestern Colorado.
  • The Spring outlook for the Intermountain West remains mostly neutral for favoring seasonal climate anomalies. 
  • Equal chances for an average spring pattern are expected for all but northern Utah and Wyoming, where chances slightly favor above-normal temperatures.
  • The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center’s seasonal drought outlook favors persistent drought in the Intermountain West. 
  • Areas of Moderate to Extreme Drought (D1–D3) in Arizona and Moderate to Exceptional Drought (D1–D4) in New Mexico are expected to remain.
  • Drought impacts in northern Wyoming are also expected to remain.



CoCoRaHS: Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, & Snow Network

Speaker: Henry Reges, CoCoRaHS National Coordinator; Meteorologist, Colorado State University 

  • CoCoRaHS is for everyone, and it's easy to participate! It takes just five minutes a day to collect precipitation data, which plays an essential part in the country's monitoring activities.
  • CoCoRaHS has easy-to-use tools for reporting precipitation and a robust website that is available not only for observers, but the public at large.
  • CoCoRaHS is always looking for more observers, as precipitation is so variable and the country is so big. The only cost to the observer is the inexpensive prescribed rain gauge.



Questions & Answers

Speaker: Dr. Gretel Follingstad | CIRES/CU Boulder, NOAA/NIDIS