Drought Monitor update: A mixed bag for the Colorado River Basin

Latest Drought Monitor report shows mixed outlook for the Colorado Rier Basin States
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  • Drought worsens in eastern Wyoming.
  • Above-normal temperatures persist in the West, with some areas 6-8 degrees above average.
  • Little to no precipitation is expected in the West over the next five days.
  • Above-normal temperatures are forecasted for the Southwest and High Plains in the 6-10 day outlook.

May 20, 2024 — Last week’s Drought Monitor ReportOpens in a new tab. revealed that recent heavy precipitation brought much-needed relief to portions of the West, but areas such as eastern Wyoming  experienced worsening drought conditions due to a lack of precipitation and above-normal temperatures.  Most of New Mexico is abnormally dry or in a moderate drought, with the southern portion of the state experiencing extreme drought.  A significant portion of Arizona is also abnormally dry.

The Colorado River Basin states saw a mixed bag of impacts. Wyoming saw improvements and degradation, depending on the precipitation received. Colorado also experienced a mix of improvements and degradation, with the northeastern part of the state seeing a slight introduction of abnormally dry conditions.

Looking ahead, the forecast for the West is dry. Over the next five days, little to no precipitation is expected, and the 6-10 day outlook predicts above-normal temperatures for the Southwest and High Plains. These conditions could further exacerbate drought in areas already experiencing water stress.

Reservoirs throughout the region are generally in good shape; however, the Colorado River Basin States continue to face significant drought challenges.

[Image from the May 16, 2024 U.S. Drought Monitor ReportOpens in a new tab..]


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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