Drought Levels Steady in Grand Valley
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- Although we've already seen some snow this spring, the National Weather Service says the Western Slope is going to need more of it to get out of the severe drought that the valley is in.
Officials say last week's snow storm did help lower the drought numbers by increasing moisture in the Grand Valley from eight to 20 percent.
The central mountains along the Colorado River Basin received a 15 to 21 percent boost of moisture.
The April snow surprised many residents, but not the weather experts.
"We weren't surprised but we were happy to see the moisture," said Aldis Strautins, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.
Due to last year's hot temperatures and little snowfall, Colorado as a state is stuck in a drought. Some areas are worse than others.
"We're ranging from moderate to extreme. Now that extreme area has decreased in the past week with the storms that we've had which have added extra moisture to the snowpack," said Strautins.
Officials say temperatures were very warm last year. The region has been cooler this year, which has kept snowpack up on the mountains.
But experts say one snow storm can't do all the magic.
"Drought is more long-term; we're talking climate, long term. So one or two storms don't swing things one way or another, but it can help," said Strautins.
Officials say there's a high probability of active wildfires this summer due to the severe drought the Grand Valley faces.