Colorado's dry conditions worsen, with nearly 60% of state in extreme drought

poor front range air quality wildfire smoke sept 30
Posted at 10:49 AM, Oct 08, 2020

DENVER — More than half of Colorado is experiencing extreme drought conditions, with some stretches of the mountains and Western Slope going through the highest level of drought conditions, according to the latest state drought monitor this week.

And there may only be little relief in sight, with another another weekend of warm and dry conditions across the state before a chance of precipitation early next week.

Colorado remains under a statewide burn ban as fire danger remains extremely high and crews continue to battle the Cameron Peak Fire in western Larimer County, along with the sprawling Mullen Fire in southern Wyoming.

Smoky skies were expected again Thursday, and Denver could break its record high temperature of 85 degrees, set in 1910, according to the National Weather Service in Boulder.

Below is the latest drought situation for Colorado, updated Thursday. The drought monitor classifies drought conditions by intensity, with yellow being the lowest form of drought of "abnormally dry" and the darkest red being "exceptional drought" conditions.

While nearly 60% of the state is experiencing extreme drought, the biggest jump from last week to this week was in the exceptional drought category, up to about 16.7% from about 2.6%.

Western states, as a whole, are in for another dry stretch of weather, according to the NWS forecast. The Denver area could see precipitation early next week before another warm and dry pattern returns.