By Chris Spears

DENVER (CBS4) – For the first time since the spring of 2015 severe drought conditions are being observed in southwest Colorado.

As of January 5 all major river basins in the southwestern part of the state were between 20-40% of where they should be for snow accumulation.

A persistent ridge of high pressure is to blame for the lack of snow, which has blocked most all storms from moving into the state. A few have clipped the north-central part of Colorado which is why numbers there are a bit higher, but still below normal.

The long-range outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center indicates that while a few storm systems are possible, more mild and dry weather is likely in store for much of the state.

Severe drought has been declared in southwest Colorado due to a lack of snow. This picture taken at 10:50 am on 1/5/18. (credit: CBS)

Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.

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