The US Drought Monitor released a report Thursday showing that approximately eight square miles of Colorado, that’s about 0.01 percent of the state, is currently under abnormal dryness, reports the Colorado Sun, and statewide snowpack is more than DOUBLE average.
According to the two decades worth of data, the US Drought Monitor has, the drought outlook in Colorado is the best it has been in at least 19 years and is some turnaround since last summer when, at this same point, about 80% of the state was under some kind of dry status. The current snowpack is FIVE times what it was at this point last year.
“This is the lowest amount (of dryness) we’ve ever had since the Drought Monitor was put in place,” said Taryn Finnessey, a senior climate change specialist with Colorado’s Department of Natural Resources, who first pointed out the milestone. “I recognize there were certainly periods of time in the last 19 years where there have been areas of no drought. But in terms of the whole state, this is the least dry we have ever been.”
Last summer, farmers were on edge about the conditions they faced in 2019. But a snowy winter followed by a wet spring have slaked Colorado’s thirst, leaving rivers running high and helping to refill reservoirs.
The winter snowfall has been beneficial to ski areas, with many extending their seasons, and Aspen Snowmass, Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, and Purgatory all offering skiing over this Memorial Day weekend, and A-Basin and Breck extending into June.