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NIDIS Intermountain West
Drought Early Warning System
December 11, 2018

Current U.S. Drought Monitor Depiction

Recommended Changes

Summary: December 11, 2018

Over the last week, most of the Intermountain West followed the recent temperature trend, and temperatures were cooler than average, with near average temperatures in southern Arizona and New Mexico. Wyoming was especially cold with most of the state seeing 3 to 6 degrees below average and localized areas less than 12 degrees below average for the last week.

Much of the region was dry over the last week. Precipitation was mostly concentrated along the northern portion of the Continental Divide in Colorado through southern Wyoming and in the far southern part of the IMW in AZ and NM. Precipitation totals along the higher elevations were closer to average for the Colorado mountains and a little less than average for the UT and WY mountains. The eastern plains and low elevations of the IMW were dry, which is typical for this time of year.

Snowpack totals continue to improve as we progress through December. South Platte, Colorado, Yampa, White, and North Platte River Basin are all above average. However, to the south, the San Juan River Basin still shows snowpack below average. In Wyoming, Wyoming Range and Wind River Range, snowpack did not show a significant improvement, not bad but could be better. Central Utah saw snowpack totals continuing to improve, most areas improving to the mid 70’s which could indicate a step in the right direction. 

Month-to-date shows most of the Intermountain West drier than average, but the cooler than average temperatures we have been having help to offset this.

The next week does not appear to be an active one. Looking at the 7-day forecast most of the Intermountain West will receive very little to no precipitation. Forecasted precipitation is centralized along the Divide where 0.10-0.50” is expected. Warmer than average temperatures are also expected to return for the next couple of weeks.



Much of the Intermountain West received little to no precipitation in the last week so we are recommending status quo for the Upper Colorado River Basin as well as eastern Colorado.

UCRB:  Status quo 

Eastern CO:  Status quo

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