DENVER (CBS4) – The weekly drought monitor released Thursday showed even better news for the eastern half of Colorado while the Western Slope has become even drier.

As of this week, nearly every area in the state east of the Continental Divide has seen drought that has existed for at least a year in most cases be eliminated. The only small exception is a sliver of southern Las Animas County in Southern Colorado where moderate drought persists in the Trinidad area. Including that area, about 46% of the state is currently experiencing at least moderate drought which is down 6% since a week ago.

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(source: CBS)

It’s the first time since April 2020 that less than 50% of Colorado is experiencing drought conditions.

In the Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins areas, the final drought was eliminated a few weeks ago and the remaining “abnormally dry” areas dropped off the map a week ago.

(source: CBS)

Unfortunately, it continues to be a very different situation on the Western Slope where troubling drought has become even worse. As of this week, 29% of Colorado is experiencing extreme drought which is up 1% since last week. All of the extreme and exceptional drought is west of Vail, Rabbit Ears, and Monarch Passes. Cities such as Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Steamboat Springs, Montrose, Telluride, and Durango continue to suffer through one of the worse dry stretches on record.

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(source: CBS)

The difference in liquid precipitation so far this year (including melted snow) between the eastern and western regions of the state continues to be staggering. Fort Collins and Boulder have both received over 10 inches more than Montrose. Sterling and Burlington have received over 8 inches more than Grand Junction.  And Denver has received more than 7.5 more inches of liquid this year than the Rifle area.

(source: CBS)

And for areas in the eastern half of Colorado including the Denver metro area, more rain is on the way. It will turn quite wet again at times starting Saturday with a good chance for rain showers on Sunday, Sunday night, and on Memorial Day. The potential exists for at least a 1 inch of liquid in the metro area by Monday night.

(source: CBS)

It will also turn much cooler for the second half of the holiday weekend. Sadly, much of the Western Slope will miss out on the wet weather.

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Meteorologist Ashton Altieri