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

May 9, 2024 - CO, UT, WY

The region experienced generally below normal precipitation and above normal temperatures in April. May 1st snow-water equivalent (SWE) was near-normal in Colorado (92%) and Utah (103%) and slightly below normal in Wyoming (88%). Seasonal streamflow volume forecasts are mostly below to near-normal in the region with above normal forecasts in northern Utah. Regional drought conditions improved and cover 10% of the region. El Niño conditions are transitioning to neutral-ENSO conditions and there is an 83% chance of neutral-ENSO conditions for May-July. The NOAA seasonal temperature outlook for May-July suggests an increased probability of above normal temperatures for the majority of the region.

April precipitation was generally below normal across the region with large swathes of above normal precipitation in northern Utah around the Great Salt Lake, north and south-central Wyoming, and from the Front Range to northeastern Colorado. Areas of less than 25% of normal precipitation occurred in southeastern Utah and southeastern Colorado with small pockets of less than 2% of normal precipitation in Emery and Wayne Counties in Utah as well as the northern Lake Powell region, and Baca and Prowers Counties in Colorado. Small pockets of more than 150% of normal precipitation occurred west of the Great Salt Lake and in Wayne County in Utah, east of the Denver Metro in Adams and Elbert Counties in Colorado, and in Sweetwater County in Wyoming. A large area of more than 150% of normal precipitation occurred in northeastern Colorado. Large areas of much-above (top 10%) and small areas of much-below (bottom 10%) normal precipitation for the month of April were observed in Colorado.

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Regional temperatures were slightly above (0 - 2°F) to above (2 - 4°F) normal in April. Small pockets of slightly below (-2 - 0°F) normal temperatures occurred mostly in central Utah and southern Colorado. Small pockets of above (4 - 6°F) normal temperatures occurred in Laramie and Sheridan Counties in Wyoming, with a pocket of 6 - 8°F above normal temperatures in Sheridan County. Small areas of much-above (top 10%) normal temperatures for the month of April were observed in Colorado.

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Regional snowpack ranged from much-below (<50%) normal conditions in northeastern Wyoming to above (110-129%) normal conditions in northern and southern Utah. Below normal conditions occurred in northern and western Wyoming and southern Colorado. Near-normal conditions occurred throughout most of Utah, southeastern Wyoming, and northern Colorado. As of May 1st, statewide percent median snow-water equivalent (SWE) was 92% in Colorado, 103% in Utah, and 88% in Wyoming. The Escalante Basin in Utah had the highest percent median SWE at 222% by end of day on April 30. The basins with the lowest percent median SWE were the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Basins at 0% since they melted out. Peak SWE was observed on April 9 for Colorado (16.7 in), April 2 for Utah (18.8 in), and April 11 for Wyoming (16.2 in).

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Regional April-July streamflow volume forecasts are mostly below (70-89%) normal to near-normal, with forecasts of 50-69% of normal streamflow in northeastern Wyoming including the Powder and Cheyenne Basins, according to the NRCS, and at many sites in southwestern Colorado including the San Juan, Gunnison, and Upper Colorado-Dolores Basins, according to the CBRFC. There are above (110-129%) normal streamflow forecasts for the basins surrounding the Great Salt Lake, with CBRFC sites forecasting 130-150% of normal streamflow in the Lower Bear, Weber, and Jordan Basins, as well as one site in the Lower Green Basin with a forecast of 150-200% of normal streamflow. The forecast for the inflow to Lake Powell is 80% of average, which is down 9% from the April 1st forecast.

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Regional drought conditions improved in April and now cover 10% of the region, a 2% decrease in drought coverage since the end of March. Severe (D2) drought improved in northeastern Wyoming and moderate (D1) drought improved in south-central Colorado, while D1 drought developed in southeastern Colorado.

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As of mid-April, El Niño conditions are transitioning to neutral-ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation) conditions in the Pacific Ocean. There is an 83% chance of neutral-ENSO conditions by May and a 49% chance of La Niña conditions developing by July. The NOAA precipitation and temperature outlooks for May suggest an increased probability of below (33-40%) normal precipitation for southern Colorado and above (33-40%) normal temperatures for southeastern Colorado. The NOAA seasonal precipitation and temperature outlooks for May-July suggest an increased probability of below normal precipitation for southeastern Utah and a majority of western and southern Colorado, and above normal temperatures for almost the entirety of the region with 40-50% above normal conditions for all of Utah, western and southern Wyoming, and western, central, and southern Colorado.

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Significant April weather event: Northern Colorado windstorm. An exceptionally strong storm moved through northern Colorado from April 6-7. During this period, strong and destructive winds affected the mountains, foothills, and northeastern plains. Wind speeds in the Front Range mountains and near the foothills peaked between 70 to 95 mph, with the highest recorded gust reaching 97 mph at the NCAR Mesa Lab in Boulder and a close second of 96 mph in Coal Creek Canyon in Jefferson County. Across the northeastern plains, the most intense winds occurred along and north of a line extending from Denver to Fort Morgan to Akron, with wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph. Numerous instances of downed trees, power poles, and minor damage were reported in areas with the strongest winds. Xcel Energy said over 155,000 customers experienced power outages at the height of the storm from a combination of proactive public safety shutoffs and power outages caused by damage from the high winds, with most of these occurring in and around the Denver Metro. 

Here are the locations that saw the highest wind gusts from April 6-7, according to NWS: 

  1. NCAR Mesa Lab, Boulder, 97 mph 
  2. Coal Creek Canyon, Jefferson, 96 mph 
  3. 3 NW Marshall, Boulder, 95 mph 
  4. Buckeye, Larimer, 93 mph 
  5. 3 ESE Buckeye, Larimer, 91 mph 
  6. 2 ENE Copper Mountain, Summit, 91 mph 
  7. Rocky Flats Hwy 93 and 72, Jefferson, 90 mph
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Image credits: (Left) Colorado Climate Center. (Right) BoulderCAST.

April 5, 2024 - CO, UT, WY

Precipitation was generally above average and temperatures were near-average in the Intermountain West during March; large areas of Colorado, Utah and southwestern Wyoming received greater than 150% of average March precipitation. April 1st snow water equivalent (SWE) was above average in Colorado (112%) and Utah (131%) and average in Wyoming. Seasonal streamflow volume forecasts are near-average in much of the Upper Colorado River Basin and above average in northern Utah. El Niño conditions are expected to end soon with neutral ENSO conditions likely during summer and there is at least a 60% chance of La Niña conditions emerging by fall.

Regional precipitation during March was generally near-to-above average except in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Colorado where precipitation was below average. Large areas of Colorado, central Utah and southwestern Wyoming saw greater than 150% of average March precipitation. Areas of greater than 200% of average precipitation along the Front Range and east of the Continental Divide in Colorado were driven by a large upslope snowstorm mid-month. The March 13-15 snowstorm contributed to record wet March conditions in Custer, Fremont, Park, Pueblo and Teller Counties.

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Temperatures during March were within 2 degrees of average for most of the region with the warmest conditions occurring in eastern Colorado and eastern Wyoming. March temperatures were 2-4 degrees below average in the Wasatch Mountains and in isolated Colorado mountain locations.

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April 1st snow water equivalent was near-to-above average for all regional river basins except in northeastern Wyoming where SWE was below-to-much-below average. As a statewide average, SWE conditions are 112% of average in Colorado, 131% of average in Utah and 100% of average in Wyoming. Across the entire Upper Colorado River Basin, April 1st SWE is 114% of average. While the 2024 snowpack is not nearly as impressive as the 2023 snowpack, the 2023 water year ends with the second year in a row of above average snowpack for most of the region. Snowpack in northeastern Wyoming’s Powder and Tongue River Basins was around 70% of average and SWE in the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne River Basins was less than 40% of average. A significant dust storm deposited dust on snowpacks across much of Colorado and the Wasatch Mountains in Utah. A particularly thick layer of dust was deposited in the Roaring Fork Basin and San Juan Mountains. The dust layer is currently buried under several feet of snow at many locations, but will likely speed snowmelt later in the spring.

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Seasonal streamflow forecasts for large areas of the Upper Colorado River and Great Basins are near-average. Seasonal streamflow forecasts are highest in the Great Basin (Bear, Provo, Six Creeks and Provo) and in the Yampa River Basin. The San Juan and Dolores River Basins are forecasted to have below average seasonal streamflow volumes despite near-average SWE conditions. Seasonal streamflow volume for Lake Powell is forecasted to be 89% of average, an inefficient runoff considering April 1st SWE in the Upper Colorado River Basin is 114% of median.

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Above average March precipitation caused a slight decrease in regional drought coverage and D1-D2 drought now covers 12% of the region. Drought conditions were entirely removed from northern Colorado and southern Wyoming and severe drought conditions (D2) were removed from south-central Colorado and the Yellowstone Plateau. Severe (D2) drought conditions expanded in coverage in northeastern Wyoming. Since the start of the water year, total regional coverage of drought increased from 9% to 12% of the region. Since October, drought conditions have improved in western Colorado and eastern Utah and D1-D2 drought has developed in northern Wyoming.

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As of mid-March, El Niño conditions continue in the eastern Pacific Ocean, but the trend in cooling ocean temperatures is expected to continue and will likely soon lead to neutral ENSO conditions. There is a 50-75% probability that neutral ENSO conditions will prevail through the summer, but by early fall, there is greater than a 60% chance of La Niña conditions developing. The NOAA monthly outlook suggests an increased probability of above average precipitation during April for Utah, Wyoming and western Colorado; there are equal chances of above or below normal temperatures during April. The NOAA Seasonal Outlook for April-June suggests an increased probability of above average precipitation for Wyoming and northeastern Colorado and an increased probability of above average temperature for Utah and most of Colorado.

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Significant March weather event: Front Range snowstorm. On March 13-15, a significant upslope storm impacted the Front Range of Colorado from Fort Collins to Pueblo. One to five feet of snow fell from Boulder south to Pueblo with the most significant snowfall occurring in the foothills east of the Continental Divide. Amongst sites with at least 50 years of weather data, 28 sites broke daily snowfall records and 31 sites broke daily precipitation records during the March 13-15 storm. Daily snowfall records were broken in Canon City (12.2”), Colorado Springs (10”), Estes Park (23.3”), Evergreen (22”), Gross Reservoir (19”) and Ruxton Park (20”). In Boulder, the daily precipitation record was broken on March 14th (2.33”) and the snowstorm was the 12th largest on record with 21.9”. The highest three-day snowfall totals were in Aspen Springs (61.5”), Evergreen (61”), Idaho Springs (53.7”) and Nederland (53”). A strong east-west gradient in snowfall totals occurred with this storm as precipitation was slow to change over to snow along the Interstate 25 corridor. For example, nearly 30” of snow fell in Golden, 12” in Denver and only 5.7” at Denver International Airport.

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Broomfield_Snow_3.2024

Snow in Broomfield, CO. March 14, 2024. Credit: NWS Boulder.

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