The U.S. Drought Monitor report has released their latest analysis , revealing that parts of Colorado have returned to a drought state.
It doesn’t seem long ago when the skies rolled in with dark gray clouds, bringing rain twice, thrice, even four times a week.
Then July hit and the moisture vanished.
“The last month or so has been dryer than average,” Aldis Strautins, service hydrologist for the National Weather Service said.
After staying drought free from late July to the early weeks of September, rainfall was scarce over that time period, and now 25% of Colorado finds itself drought ridden once again, even in the lowest category of “abnormally dry,’ according to the United States Drought Monitor report.
“It shows we’ve had some drying over the last month and a half or so, mainly in the front range area.” Strautins said. “We had above average precipitation for part of the spring and its starting to dry out.”
In Colorado, dryer conditions typically means fire danger, and even with peak fire season hitting in the middle of the summer, the recent dry spell has conditions creeping up for the fall.
“We track seasonal trends based on other years.” said Lathan Johnson, Fire Management for the Bureau of Land Managment said. “Usually what you see is fire danger peak in the middle of the summer, and we have seen a gradual raise in fires the last few weks.”
According to the BLM, the spring and early summer rain cooled down fire danger thanks to building up moisture in the vegetation, but the dry stretch has lowered that natural defense.
BLM officials also warn the general public that 95% of summer fires are started by lightening, but towards this time of year– as fall starts, human started fires see an uptick.
Furthermore, whether you’re hunting, hiking or camping, BLM reminds you to always remember to extinguish your fire.