Drought conditions in Colorado have seen another week of slight improvements across the state, and the worst category of drought has disappeared altogether. One week ago, about .5% of Colorado was classified as “Exceptional Drought,” all in southeastern Colorado. Now, that area is categorized under “Extreme Drought.” One year ago, 3% of the state was listed as “Exceptional Drought.”
The U. S. Drought Monitor currently shows normal conditions across 60% of Colorado. One year ago, that number was 1.5%.
UPDATE: The Red Cross Shelter has closed as of 11:23 PM. Highway 24 has reopened.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter in Manitou Springs for those affected by potential flooding tonight, Friday, May 23. It's at the Historic Manitou Congregational Church, 103 Pawnee Ave.
The National Weather Service in Pueblo has issued a flash flood warning until 11:15 tonight for northwestern Pueblo County, northeastern Custer County, Teller County, and western El Paso and eastern Fremont Counties.
John Steinbeck’s classic the Grapes of Wrath turns 75 on Monday. The novel takes place during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and follows the Joad family as they leave Oklahoma and head to California. Portions of Colorado were also a part of the Dust Bowl, and certainly the state is no stranger to blowing dust.
Two are dead in separate avalanches in Colorado this week. KRCC’s Elaina Formby reports.
One avalanche caught two snowmobilers, killing one near Kebler Pass, west of Crested Butte. Another avalanche by the North Fork Swan River, south of Keystone Ski Resort, caught two skiers. One escaped, the other, a man in his 40s from the Front Range, was found dead at 11:30 this morning.
Researches are using lasers to determine snowpack. These images show measurements of snow water equivalent (top) and snow albedo, or reflectivity (image) for the Tuolumne River Basin in California's Sierra Nevada in April, 2013. Albedo shows the percentage of sunlight reflected back; the lower the albedo, the faster the snowmelt rate and runoff.
Scientists in Colorado are working to improve runoff forecasting in the West so water managers can meet growing needs in the future. A growing population coupled with climate change means every drop will count. Scientists are mapping terrain and snow with lasers to provide a more accurate picture of the snowpack. It's called the NASA JPL Airborne Snow Observatory. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen spoke with Jeff Deems, a research scientist with the University of Colorado, Boulder. He’s involved with the project.
People come from far and wide to hike the Manitou Incline, especially now that it’s legal. Rain, shine, or even snow, everyone who makes the trek has his or her own motivation. Along with her friend Mariel Dempster, KRCC’s Kate Dunn made the journey during the cold and snowy weather we recently had in the Pikes Peak region, and brought back this audio postcard.
The Incline daily record holder, Greg Cummings, was known for making the trek 601 times in a year.