Intermountain West Climate Dashboard

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The Intermountain West Climate Dashboard provides situational awareness of climate, drought, and water resources for Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.

Click the question mark icon above each graphic to see the description of that graphic.

Weekly or monthly summaries of evolving climate, drought, and water conditions for the Intermountain West are also available from these providers:         
Colorado Climate Center/NIDIS Intermountain West Drought Status Briefings              
NOAA CBRFC Water Supply Briefings for the Colorado River Basin and Great Basin - monthly, January through May             
NRCS Water Supply Outlook Reports for ColoradoUtah, and Wyoming - monthly, January through May/June

View the latest briefing

Temperature, Precipitation and Snowpack

30-day Temp. Anomaly
(HPRCC)

( updated daily )

30-day Precip as % Avg
(HPRCC)

( updated daily )

Water-Year Precip as % Avg
(HPRCC)

( updated daily )

Current Snowpack - Western U.S.
(NRCS)

( updated daily )

Current Snowpack - Colorado
(NRCS)

( updated daily )

Current Snowpack - Utah
(NRCS)

( updated daily )

Current Snowpack - Wyoming
(NRCS)

( updated daily )

Spatial SWE Estimates
Info

( monthly )

Drought Conditions

US Drought Monitor
(NDMC)

( updated weekly )

US Drought Monitor - Western US
(NDMC)

( updated weekly )

US Drought Monitor
(NDMC) Wyoming

( updated weekly )

US Drought Monitor
(NDMC) Utah

( updated weekly )

US Drought Monitor
(NDMC) Colorado

( updated weekly )

Standardized Precip Index (SPI)
(SPI)

( updated daily )

1-mo

Standardized Precip Index (SPI)
(SPI)

( updated daily )

3-mo

Standardized Precip Index (SPI)
(SPI)

( updated daily )

12-mo

Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
(EDDI)

( updated daily )

2-wk

Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
(EDDI)

( updated daily )

4-wk

Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
(EDDI)

( updated daily )

3-mo

Evaporative Demand Drought Index (EDDI)
(EDDI)

( updated daily )

6-mo

Current Streamflow, Forecasted Streamflow

Current Streamflow - CO
(USGS) Colorado

( updated daily )

Current Streamflow - UT
(USGS) Utah

( updated daily )

Current Streamflow - WY
(USGS) Wyoming

( updated daily )

Streamflow (last 4 weeks)
(USGS)

( updated daily )

NRCS Seasonal Streamflow Forecast
(NRCS)

( monthly update )

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Key to images above

Soil Moisture

Soil Moisture Anomaly

( updated daily )

Reservoir Storage

Upper Colorado Reservoirs
(Reclamation)

( updated daily )

Wasatch Front Reservoirs
(Reclamation)

( updated daily )

Uinta Basin Reservoirs
(Reclamation)

( updated daily )

Upper Green River Basin Reservoirs
(Reclamation)

( updated daily )

Gunnison River Basin Reservoirs
(Reclamation)

( updated daily )

San Juan River Basin Reservoirs
(Reclamation)

( updated daily )

Precipitation Forecast

7-Day Precipitation Forecast
(NOAA WPC)

( updated daily )

Seasonal Climate Outlooks

One-Month Precipitation Outlook
(NOAA CPC)

( monthly update )

Three-Month Precipitation Outlook
(NOAA CPC)

( monthly update )

One-Month Temperature Outlook
(NOAA CPC)

( monthly update )

Three-Month Temperature Outlook
(NOAA CPC)

( monthly update )

Seasonal Drought Outlook
(NOAA CPC)

( monthly update )

ENSO Conditions and Forecasts

ENSO Phase Probability
(IRI)

( updated monthly )

ENSO Model Projections Plume
(IRI)

( monthly update )

Latest Briefing

February 9, 2024 - CO, UT, WY

After a relatively wet January, snowpack conditions improved and are near-average in Utah (96%), slightly-below average in Colorado (87%) and below average in Wyoming (74%). Seasonal streamflow volume forecasts are below average for most locations except for northern Utah where forecasts predict average to slightly-above average seasonal streamflow. Regional coverage of drought remained steady at 15% and alleviation of some drought conditions in southwestern Colorado was offset by the development of drought in northern Wyoming. El Niño conditions are expected to continue through spring with above average precipitation and temperatures predicted for February.

Across the region, a patchwork of above and below average precipitation fell during January. Slightly-above average January precipitation was observed in northern Colorado, southern Wyoming and along the Wasatch Front and southwestern Utah. Much-above average January precipitation was observed in southeastern Colorado. Below average January precipitation, including large areas of less than 50% of average, fell in northeastern, south-central and northwestern Colorado and Utah and across all of northern Wyoming.

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January temperatures were generally above average in the southwestern portion of the region and below average in the northeast. In Colorado and Wyoming, January temperatures were above average on the west side of the Continental Divide and below average east of the Divide with temperatures as cold as 10 degrees below average. Utah temperatures were generally 2 to 4 degrees above average but the eastern Uinta Basin saw temperatures up to 10 degrees warmer than average.

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Regional snowpack at the end of January was a mix of near-normal and below normal conditions. Near-average snow water equivalent (SWE) was observed in northern Utah and northern Colorado. In southern Colorado, southern Utah and much of Wyoming, SWE was 70-90% of average. Snowpack in northeastern Wyoming and in the Yellowstone River Basin was much-below normal (50-70% average). Statewide SWE improved relative to average in Colorado (87%), Utah (96%) and Wyoming (74%).

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Regional April-July streamflow volume forecasts are generally below to much-below average, except northern Utah where streamflow forecasts are near to above average. In most locations, forecasted streamflow volume increased compared to the January 1st forecast. Streamflow forecasts are lowest for the Dolores, Duchesne and San Juan River Basins. The forecast for the inflow to Lake Powell is 74% of average.

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Total regional coverage of drought remains at 15% and unchanged since December. Drought development in northern Wyoming was balanced by drought improvement in southeastern Utah and southwestern Colorado.

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El Niño conditions continue as ocean temperatures in the eastern Pacific were 1.5–2 degrees Celsius above average. All ocean temperature models are projecting a steady cooling of ocean temperatures and there is a 70% chance of El Niño conditions continuing through spring (March-May). This summer, there is a 65% probability of neutral ENSO conditions but by fall, there is a 60% chance of La Niña conditions developing. The NOAA monthly outlook for February suggests an increased probability of above average precipitation for Colorado, Utah and eastern Wyoming and above average temperatures for the entire region. During February–April, the NOAA seasonal forecast suggests an increased probability of above average temperatures for northern Utah and Wyoming.

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January significant weather event: Early January storm cycles and avalanches. After a stormy early December in the West, very dry conditions prevailed across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming from December 10–January 4. Beginning on January 4 and lasting for 11 days, near-continuous storms impacted the Intermountain West and brought below and much-below average snowpacks to near-normal by January 15. River basins reached near-normal SWE conditions by January 15 including the Bear, Jordan, Yampa-White and Weber which received 3.5–5.5” of SWE. A few snotel sites in northern Utah received very high amounts of SWE from January 4–January 15 including 10.4” at Ben Lomond Peak near Ogden, 8.5” at Alta near Salt Lake City and 8.3” at Tony Grove Lake near Logan. With the combination of a month-long snow drought and the rapid addition of SWE to mountain snowpacks in Utah, extreme avalanche danger was forecasted for the entire Wasatch Mountain Range from Logan to Provo including the Wasatch Plateau in central Utah. It was extremely rare to see extreme avalanche danger over the entire Wasatch Mountain Range on a single day and not something that I have personally observed over the last 17 years. Extreme avalanche danger closed Little Cottonwood Canyon Road for 36 hours and avalanche mitigation efforts triggered numerous full-path avalanches that buried the road.

January 10, 2024 - CO, UT, WY

In December, Utah and Wyoming experienced below to much-below normal precipitation, with record-dry conditions in western Utah and north-central Wyoming. Meanwhile, southern and eastern Colorado saw above to much-above normal precipitation. Regional temperatures were above to much-above normal with record-warm December temperatures recorded in western and northeastern Wyoming. Snowpack conditions were below to much-below normal across all river basins, and January 1st seasonal streamflow forecasts were below to much-below normal. Drought conditions slightly expanded, covering 15% of the region, and severe to extreme drought persists in southwestern Colorado. El Niño conditions continued during December and have a high probability of persisting through spring. The NOAA outlooks for January suggest an increased probability of above average precipitation and below average temperatures.

December precipitation was below to much-below normal for the majority of Utah and Wyoming. In Colorado, December precipitation was a mix of above and below average precipitation. In large areas of western Utah and north-central Wyoming along the Bighorn Range, almost no precipitation was recorded during December. Pockets of much-below normal precipitation occurred in northeastern Utah, eastern Wyoming, and eastern Colorado. Large areas of 200% or more of normal precipitation occurred throughout southern and eastern Colorado. Record-dry conditions occurred throughout the central corridor of Wyoming, which we will discuss below.

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Regional temperatures were above normal during December. The majority of the region experienced 3-6°F above normal temperatures while northern and eastern Wyoming experienced mostly 6-9°F above normal temperatures. Temperatures of 9-12°F above normal occurred in Sheridan, Johnson, Weston, and Niobrara Counties in Wyoming. Record-warm temperatures occurred in northeastern Wyoming which we will discuss below.

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Regional snowpack was below to much-below normal for all river basins. As of January 1st, statewide percent median snow-water equivalent (SWE) was 70% for Colorado and Utah and 65% for Wyoming. Utah experienced the highest and lowest SWE percentages in the region with 85% SWE in the Bear River Basin and 30% in the Escalante River Basin. Much-below normal SWE was observed in southwestern Utah and southeastern Wyoming.

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January 1st seasonal streamflow forecasts in the Upper Colorado River and Great Basins are below to much-below normal. Below normal (70-90%) seasonal streamflow volumes are forecasted for the Arkansas, Upper Colorado, Gunnison, Rio Grande, South Platte, White-Yampa, Bear, Utah Lake, Virgin, Weber, Laramie, Upper Green, Powder, Shoshone, Snake, and Tongue Basins. Much-below normal (<50-70%) seasonal streamflow volumes are forecasted for the Dolores, San Juan, Duchesne, Lower Green, Sevier, and North Platte Basins. The Big Horn, Six Creeks, and Wind River Basins have near-normal (90-110%) forecasts. Seasonal streamflow forecasts for all large Upper Colorado River Basin reservoirs are below to much-below normal and Lake Powell’s inflow forecast is 66% of normal. It is important to note that there are still three months left of the snow accumulation season and January 1st streamflow forecasts contain significant uncertainty.

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Regional drought conditions slightly expanded in December and now cover 15% of the region, less than a 1% increase from late November. Drought expanded by 3% in Colorado, improved by 2% in Wyoming, and remained the same in Utah. Severe (D2) drought conditions remain in southwestern Colorado as well as a pocket of extreme (D3) drought in Rio Grande, Alamosa, Conejos, and Costilla Counties. 2-class drought degradation occurred in Jackson, Larimer, Grand, and Summit Counties in Colorado.

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El Niño conditions continued during December and Pacific Ocean temperatures are consistent with a strong El Niño. There is an 80% probability of El Niño conditions persisting through spring and over a 50% probability of transitioning to neutral conditions starting in April-June. The NOAA precipitation outlook for January suggests an increased probability of above average precipitation for all of Utah, most of Colorado, and southwestern Wyoming. The NOAA temperature outlook for January suggests an increased probability of below average temperatures for almost the entirety of the region. Most of southern, central, and eastern Colorado and southeastern Utah have an increased probability of likely below average temperatures (50-60% chance) in January. The NOAA seasonal outlooks for January-March suggest an increased probability of above average precipitation for all of Colorado, most of Utah (particularly the southern region), and southern Wyoming, and an increased probability of above average temperatures throughout the northern, central, and western regions of Utah and Wyoming.

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Significant climate event. Regionally, December was warm and dry; this was particularly the case for Wyoming. Record-warm conditions were observed in almost all of Campbell County, as well as large areas of Sheridan, Johnson, Crook, and Weston Counties, including temperatures greater than +10°F in Sheridan, Campbell, and Niobrara Counties. Small pockets of record-warm conditions occurred in northwestern and southeastern Wyoming as well. Many of the aforementioned areas in Wyoming experienced record-warm 1-month mean average temperatures, including Black Mountain (34.5°F), Burgess Junction (27.8°F), Dillinger (34.1°F), Leiter (33.7°F), Redbird (34.7°F), and Ten Sleep (28.9°F), as well as the majority of SNOTEL sites in the state. Nearly the entire eastern half of the state, and much of the western half, experienced much-above normal (top 10%) temperatures. Wyoming also experienced record-dry conditions throughout much of the central corridor of the state, from Big Horn County to Carbon County. Johnson and Natrona Counties experienced the largest areas of record-dry conditions. Almost the entire eastern half of the state experienced below to much-below normal (bottom 10%) precipitation. The occurrence of record-warm and record-dry conditions throughout eastern Wyoming, particularly in Johnson County, made December 2023 an unfortunate start to the winter for the state.

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