By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – In a state like Colorado, which is roughly 1,000 miles away from the nearest source of moisture, we depend on the jet stream to bring soggy storm systems our way.

But sometimes that doesn’t happen and it can mean an unwelcome yet frequent visitor called drought.

According to estimates by the U.S. Drought Monitor, as of April 7 there were 28,860 residents of Colorado now considered to be in drought.

That number is up over 10,000 from just one week ago with 7.36% of the state now considered to be in moderate drought.

Some locations experiencing the driest conditions include Eads, La Junta, Lamar and Springfield.

(credit: Colorado's Weather Center)

(credit: Colorado’s Weather Center)

Abnormally dry, or pre-drought conditions, are being experienced across most of the southeast plains and in parts of southwest Colorado.

Despite several months with El Niño conditions dominating the weather pattern, which can bring soggy weather to the state, most of the major storms in recent weeks have missed southern Colorado.

In nearby Kansas and Oklahoma drought conditions have fueled massive wildfires which have prompted a state of emergency for some areas over the past few days.

(credit: Colorado's Weather Center)

(credit: Colorado’s Weather Center)

There is good news and bad news with the current state of drought on Colorado’s southeast plains.

While the bad news is that it makes for a tough start to the growing season and conjures up many recent bad memories of severe drought that just ended in 2015, the good news is that is won’t take much to swing things back the other way.

A few large soggy storms this spring could make for a big improvement across the area.

Meteorologist Chris Spears writes about stories related to weather and climate in Colorado. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.