By Ashton Altieri


DENVER (CBS4) – Drought that started in late summer of 2017 had been slowly improving over the last couple of months. Then the infamous ‘bomb cyclone’ hit during the second week in March causing record rain and snow across much of Colorado. We now know all that moisture greatly accelerated the ongoing drought improvement.

A year ago, in late March 2018, about 75 percent of Colorado was under some stage of drought and more than 90% of the state was considering “abnormally dry” which is the precursor to drought.

By December 2018 the drought situation had grown even worse for the southwest region of Colorado with the worst drought category (exceptional drought) developing in the San Juan Mountains and surrounding areas including Durango, Pagosa Springs, and Cortez. Meanwhile along the Front Range abnormally dry conditions had developed for virtually the entire Denver metro area. 66% of Colorado was under some stage of drought at the end of 2018.

Then using data analyzed just before the bomb cyclone hit on March 13, there was tremendous improvement from December but 25% of Colorado still remained under some stage of drought and 83% of the state was still considered abnormally dry.

Then just one week later, the drought monitor released on March 21 shows dry conditions have completed disappeared from the Denver metro area, and drought statewide is down to just over 6%. The only area in Colorado still experiencing moderate drought (the lowest drought category) is the Sangre de Cristo region south and southwest of Pueblo.

PHOTO GALLERY: March Blizzard 2019

Ashton Altieri

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