DENVER (CBS4) – The weekly drought monitor released each Thursday morning ignores moisture the ground captures during the 48 hours prior to the update. Therefore the new Colorado drought map just released missed the heavy rain that fell in many areas on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.
It will be next Thursday, May 6, when the drought monitor paints a more accurate picture of the current drought situation for areas east of the Centennial Divide including the Front Range and the Eastern Plains. Denver received almost 1 inch of rain this week while some located on the plains measured more than 4 inches.
It’s a different story on the Western Slope where the worse drought category accurately became even worse in the last week. Nearly 17% of Colorado is now experiencing exceptional drought including most of Moffat, Rio Blanco, Garfield, Mesa, Delta, Montrose, and San Miguel Counties. Locations south of Highway 160 in far southwest Colorado are also experiencing exceptional drought. Most other areas west of the Continental Divide have at least severe or extreme drought.
Meanwhile, the Boulder and Fort Collins areas have completely eliminated drought in recent weeks and it’s likely more areas east of the Continental Divide will see the same elimination in coming weeks especially with even more rain coming early next week.
For now, Colorado will stay clear, dry, and warmer for Thursday and Friday. Friday’s highs will be near 80 degrees in the Denver metro area.
Saturday will be the warmest day of the stretch with lower and mid 80s for Denver and the Front Range. Then a storm system that is in the Gulf of Alaska on Thursday will arrive in the Rocky Mountain region Saturday night into Sunday, causing rain and snow across much of the state.
There is a good chance for showers and thunderstorms in the Denver metro area Sunday afternoon followed by an excellent chance for rain along with much colder temperatures on Monday.