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Most of Colorado still experiencing drought, low snowpack; March typically state's snowiest month

Posted at 1:39 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 15:39:46-05

DENVER – About 70 percent of Colorado is experiencing at least moderate drought conditions, and southwestern portions of the state are still seeing severe drought as hope springs eternal that the snow will come in March, traditionally Colorado’s snowiest month.

Ninety percent of the state is abnormally dry, according to the latest models from the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday. Just 10 percent of the state – primarily north-central Colorado and northeastern Colorado – is drought-free.

Denver sits on the edge between abnormally dry and moderate drought, as does much of the Front Range. But the further south and southwest one travels in Colorado at the moment, the drier things get.

Portions of eight southwestern Colorado counties are experiencing extreme drought, and most of southwest Colorado is in a severe drought period.

A year ago, half of the state was experiencing no drought, and just 37 percent of the state was seeing moderate drought.

The state’s snowpack is also only at 71 percent of its normal levels, and just 52 percent of where it sat on March 1 last year. The Natural Resources Conservation Services, which tracks the snowpack, says the state would need 221 percent of its normal snowfall to reach the peak levels, which normally hit around April 9.

Another snow storm is expected to move through the state’s mountains this weekend.