DENVER (CBS4) – The weekly drought update released Thursday morning shows very troubling data for Colorado. The general lack of moisture in recent months is really taking a toll with extreme and exceptional drought expanding to include 20% of the state.

Most of the Denver metro area is now experiencing extreme drought (source: CBS)

Just a week ago, the worst drought category covered only 3% of Colorado near Glenwood Springs and Delta. Coverage of exceptional drought jumped 14% since last Thursday and now coves 17% of the state and includes Vail, Eagle, Rifle, Montrose, Telluride, and Kremmling.

(source: CBS)

Meanwhile extreme drought now covers 59% of Colorado including most of the Denver metro area.

Specific precipitation amounts vary across the state but virtually all areas are below normal when it comes to rain and snow for the month, season, and year. In Denver, the last measurable precipitation was on September 27 and before that it was September 10. The city is more than 5 inches below normal with precipitation this year. The average annual total is only about 15 inches.

(source: CBS)

The chance for any moisture in Colorado on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is near zero. Instead it will stay very warm and very dry resulting in elevated danger for new wildfires and keeping the existing fires active.

Saturday will be the eighth consecutive day with highs in the 80s in Denver.

(source: CBS)

A storm system will finally reach the state on Sunday but the storm seems to be trending farther north. And the farther north it goes, the warmer, drier, and windier it will be in Colorado. Rain and snow showers are still expected in the mountains Sunday and Sunday night but any moisture for Denver and the Front Range will likely be limited.

(source: CBS)

At least it will turn cooler starting Sunday!

Meteorologist Ashton Altieri

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