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NIDIS Intermountain West
Drought Early Warning System
January 14, 2020

Current U.S. Drought Monitor Depiction

Recommended Changes

Summary: January 14, 2020

It was a quiet week in the Intermountain West, with most of the region seeing little to no precipitation.  The Tetons in northwest Wyoming and the Wasatch range in Utah saw the best precipitation totals with 0.50 - 2.00".  The northern mountains in Colorado saw between 0.5 to 1.00".  Less than 0.10" through the rest of the region. 

January to date has seen the same pattern we saw last week with dryness through most of the region with some precipitation in the Tetons and the northern mountains in Colorado.  Precipitation that has fallen this month has been a bit below normal.  This is showing up on the short-term SPI with below normal numbers for much of our region.

Snowpack is still above normal for the region and thanks to near to below normal temperatures, the snowpack is sticking around as it should this time of year, even with lower precipitation amounts the first two weeks of 2020. 

Temperatures in eastern Colorado have been above normal and with the dry conditions, producers are starting to get nervous about their winter wheat.  This is an area we will keep a close eye on over the coming weeks and months.  The 7-day outlook does not give much hope for eastern Colorado, with less than 0.10" expected, however, the 8-14 day forecast is calling for chances of above normal precipitation.  Fingers crossed the outlook is right. 

The 7-day outlook for the rest of the IMW region shows a typical January pattern, with precipitation expected in the mountains and little to no expected in the lower elevations.



UCRB: Status quo for the UCRB.  The improvements of D2 last week stayed farther north than what we were asking for, but we are OK with the current depiction.

Eastern Colorado: Status quo for now.  As mentioned in the summary, we are watching eastern Colorado more closely for degrading conditions, but are happy with the depiction.  Producers are getting nervous and if precipitation doesn't start falling and recharging the soil moisture, winter wheat will have a tough go in the spring when it comes out of dormancy.

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