Drought has eased in Colorado, but experts brace for what the 2023 snow season holds in store | SummitDaily.com

Drought has eased in Colorado, but experts brace for what the 2023 snow season holds in store

Precipitation and snowpack are above average, but midway through winter, meteorologists are cautiously optimistic about how much moisture Colorado could see this year

Joshua Perry
The Colorado Sun
Skiers and snowboarders weave between the trees plastered by snow at Steamboat ski area, Dec. 29, 2022, in Steamboat Springs. The Routt County ski area received 17 inches of snow in the previous 48 hours.
Hugh Carey/The Colorado Sun

Recent increases in precipitation have brought much of Colorado out of drought and led to a solid start for winter snowpack in the mountains. Meteorologists are hopeful this could lead to a successful wet season, and even ease drought conditions this summer — but they aren’t making any calls just yet.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor report indicated that 40% of Colorado was officially drought-free,  a significant improvement from 0% this time last year. 9News meteorologist Chris Bianchi said the improvement was more than welcome.

“We’re not looking at just a blip in terms of drought impact,” Bianchi said. “This is a substantial improvement.”

Heavy snow, mostly west of the Continental Divide, has helped in recent weeks, Bianchi said, but the entire state hasn’t been covered by snow. Still, Colorado is in a much better position overall, he said.

At the end of December, drought conditions were logged in about 86% of the state. The week of Jan. 3, most of the eastern plains still was dry, with severe or extreme conditions recorded along the state border. 

Read more on ColoradoSun.com.

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