Intermountain West Climate Dashboard

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 )

Drought Conditions

US Drought Monitor
(NDMC)

( updated weekly )

Westwide and State Drought Monitors
(NDMC) Wyoming

( updated weekly )

Westwide and State Drought Monitors
(NDMC) Utah

( updated weekly )

Westwide and State Drought Monitors
(NDMC) Colorado

( updated weekly )

Standardized Precip Index (SPI)
(HPRCC)

( updated daily )

1-mo

Standardized Precip Index (SPI)
(HPRCC)

( updated daily )

3-mo

Standardized Precip Index (SPI)
(NDMC)

( 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 )

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Key to images above

Soil Moisture

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)

( updated biweekly )

Three-Month Precipitation Outlook
(NOAA CPC)

( updated monthly )

One-Month Temperature Outlook
(NOAA CPC)

( updated biweekly )

Three-Month Temperature Outlook
(NOAA CPC)

( updated monthly )

Seasonal Drought Outlook
(NOAA WPC)

( updated monthly )

ENSO Conditions and Forecasts

ENSO Prediction Plume
(IRI)

( updated monthly )

Probabilistic ENSO forecast
(IRI)

( updated monthly )

Latest Briefing

May 5, 2022 - CO, UT, WY

April precipitation and temperature was strongly influenced by La Niña with cooler temperatures and above average precipitation in Wyoming and warmer temperatures and below average precipitation in much of Colorado and Wyoming. On a statewide basis, peak snowpack in Colorado and Utah occurred in late March, but snowpack continued to increase in much of Wyoming through April. May 1st seasonal streamflow forecasts are below to much-below normal in the Upper Colorado River and Great Basins. As drought continues in 94% the entire region and reservoir storage is below normal at most locations, water supplies will likely be strained during summer 2022.

 

April precipitation was below to much-below normal in Colorado and Utah; precipitation was above average in northern Wyoming and below average in southern Wyoming. Large areas of Utah and southern and eastern Colorado received less than 50% of normal April precipitation. A large swath of the eastern plains of Colorado received less than 5% of normal April precipitation. April precipitation in northern Wyoming was up to 200% of average, but drier in the southern half of the state especially in southeastern Wyoming.

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April temperatures were below normal for most of the region with much below temperatures in the north to slightly above normal temperatures in the south. Wyoming experienced the coldest temperatures during April; temperatures were 2 to 6 degrees below normal in most of the state and some locations were up to 8 degrees colder than normal. Temperatures throughout most of Utah and Colorado were within 2 degrees of normal but parts of northern Colorado and Utah were 2 to 4 degrees colder than average.

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Like April precipitation, snowpack on May 1st was below normal in Colorado and Utah, but near-to-above normal in Wyoming. Except for the Bear River basin, SWE in all Utah river basins was below 70% of normal on May 1st and snow has completely melted from all sites in eastern Utah. Snowpack in northern Colorado was near-to-slightly-below normal and below normal in southern Colorado. Snowpack in most of Wyoming was near-normal on May 1st. Northeastern Wyoming SWE was much-above normal despite being very dry earlier in the winter. Overall, May 1st SWE in the Intermountain West follows patterns that would be expected with La Niña conditions; more snow in the north, less snow in the south. Snowmelt in the San Juan Mountains has occurred at nearly unprecedented rates; snowpack in the Dolores and San Juan River basins was near-normal on April 1st, but fell to 40-50% of normal by May 1st. Four hundred miles to the north in Wyoming, snowpack experienced the opposite change during April. In northern Wyoming river basins, April 1st snowpack was around 70% normal, but April storms increased May 1st snowpack to 100-120% of normal.

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Seasonal streamflow volume forecasts in the Upper Colorado River and Great Basins were below to much-below normal. May 1st seasonal streamflow volume forecasts are generally lower in the southern portions of the Upper Colorado River Basin and Great Basins. Streamflow forecasts are relatively higher along the Bear, Mainstem Colorado, Upper Green and Gunnison Rivers. The Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI) is very low in most regional river basins, especially in Utah, due to below normal streamflow forecasts and low reservoir storage. The inflow forecast for Lake Powell on May 1st was 58% of normal, down slightly since April due to low precipitation and rapid melt in the southern portion of the basin during April.

Regional drought conditions change little during April; 94% of the region is in drought and 20% of the region is in extreme (D3) drought. A one category worsening of drought conditions occurred during April in central Utah (D3 drought emerged), southern Colorado (D3) and eastern Colorado (D2). Drought conditions were removed in parts of central Wyoming and a one category improvement of drought conditions occurred in northeastern Wyoming. Drought conditions are expected to persist or develop throughout the remainder of the spring and early summer. Given below average snowpack in many locations and seasonal forecasts suggesting above average temperatures and below average precipitation, drought conditions are likely to worsen.

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La Niña conditions persisted during April and are forecasted to continue through May. After May, there are nearly equal probabilities of La Niña or neutral ENSO conditions. NOAA precipitation and temperature forecasts for May are consistent with continued La Niña conditions. There is an increased probability of below average precipitation during May for most of Colorado and Utah and an increase probability of above average precipitation in northeastern Wyoming. During May, there is an increased probability of above average temperatures for southern Colorado and southern Utah. The seasonal outlook for May-July looks quite different than May. The entire region is likely to see above average temperatures during May-July with 70-80% probability of above average temperatures in Colorado and Utah. For most of the region, especially Wyoming and Colorado, there is an increased probability of below average precipitation in May-July. In much of Arizona, there is an increased probability of above average precipitation during May-July, suggesting the development of a stronger than average monsoon during June and July. NOAA seasonal forecasts for June-August suggest a further strengthening of the monsoonal pattern during August.

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Significant April weather event. Extreme fire weather conditions in Colorado. Colorado, especially along the Front Range and in the Eastern Plains had an unusually high number of days with very high fire danger. The National Weather Service issues Red Flag Warnings when a combination of warm temperatures, low humidity and high winds are forecasted to produce elevated fire danger. In a normal April, 4-8 Red Flag Warnings are issued in Colorado, but this April, Red Flag Warnings were issued 22 times in southeastern Colorado, 16 times in northeastern Colorado and 11 times in western Colorado. The entirety of Colorado east of the Continental Divide is in drought and extreme to exceptional drought emerged in southeastern Colorado during April. April precipitation was extremely low with large areas of the Eastern Plains receiving less than 5% of normal April precipitation. Boulder, Colorado Springs and Limon experienced their driest April on record and large areas of eastern Colorado observed the lowest April precipitation since 1895.

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April 7, 2022 - CO, UT, WY

Despite a cooler than normal March, a late-month heat wave triggered snowmelt and an increase in streamflow for most regional river basins. April 1st snowpack was much below normal in Utah (75%) and Wyoming (76%) and near-normal in most Colorado river basins (92%). Below normal precipitation since January 1st was the major cause of low snowpack in Utah and Wyoming. Seasonal streamflow supply forecasts are generally below to much-below normal and Lake Powell inflow is forecasted at 64% of average.

Regional precipitation was generally below normal during March. In Colorado, precipitation was 50-90% of normal in western Colorado and above normal on the Eastern Plains and in parts of the Front Range. Utah precipitation was less than 50% of normal in the south and 70-90% of normal in northern Utah. Wyoming saw above normal precipitation in the central portion of the state and below normal precipitation elsewhere. Locations west of the Continental Divide received below normal precipitation during the last three months with large areas of Utah, western Colorado and western Wyoming seeing precipitations totals among the 12 driest years on record. January-March was the driest on record for parts of northern Utah and Wyoming.

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Temperatures were slightly below normal during March. In parts of central Wyoming and eastern Colorado, temperatures were 2-4ºF below normal. Below normal March temperatures were despite an extremely warm last 10 days of March when temperatures were 9-12ºF above average in northern Utah and southwestern Wyoming.

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Regional snowpack conditions are a mix of near-normal and below normal as of April 1st. In Colorado, April 1stsnowpack is near-normal except in the Yampa/White River Basins where SWE is 83% of normal. In Utah, April 1st SWE is below normal except for the Beaver River basin and in eastern Utah. Snowpack is 70-90% in most Utah river basins, but 50-70% of normal in the Bear and Weber River basins. In most Wyoming river basins, April 1st snowpack is 70-90% of normal. Near-normal SWE conditions exist in the Laramie River basin and snowpack is less than 40% of normal in northeastern Wyoming. Record warm temperatures in late March caused melt to begin in nearly all regional river basins.

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The University of Colorado Mountain Hydrology Group is issuing reports containing near-real-time estimates of snow-water equivalent (SWE) for the Intermountain West region (Colorado, Utah and Wyoming). Modeled SWE output is generated as an experimental research product at a spatial resolution of 500 m from mid-winter through the melt season. The report is typically released within a week of the date of data acquisition at the top of the report. Detailed SWE maps (in JPG format) and summaries of SWE (in Excel format) by individual basin and elevation band accompany the report and are publicly available on their website

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Seasonal streamflow volume forecasts for April 1st are below normal throughout the region except for parts of the Arkansas, Gunnison and Laramie River basins where streamflow volume forecasts are near-normal. Seasonal streamflow forecasts in the Upper Colorado River basin range from 40-100% of normal and 30-80% of normal in the Great Basin. Seasonal streamflow forecasts declined slightly since March 1st due to below average March precipitation. A late March heat wave caused snowmelt to begin and streamflow increased to above average flows by the end of March.

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Drought conditions remain in place across 93% of the region. Parts of northern and western Colorado are the wettest, but are still experiencing abnormally dry conditions. Extreme (D3) drought covers 20% of the region. Extreme drought conditions developed in northwestern Wyoming and along the Wasatch Front during March. Extreme drought conditions impacted regional rivers during March. Record low March streamflow was observed at sites along the American Fork, Dolores, East Fork of the Sevier, San Juan, San Rafael and Weber Rivers in Utah, the Animas and Dolores Rivers in Colorado and the Firehole and Snake Rivers in Wyoming.

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La Niña conditions remain in place over the eastern Pacific Ocean, but the majority of ocean temperature models project a return to neutral ENSO conditions by summer. There is an increased probability for below average precipitation and above average temperatures during April for Colorado and Utah. During April-June, there is an increased probability for below average precipitation for the entire region, but Utah has a greater than 60% probability for below average precipitation. There is also an increased probability for above average temperatures during April-June across Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, with the highest probability in southern Colorado.

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Significant March weather event: Regional heat wave. A regional heat wave, centered over Utah, set daily maximum temperature records and triggered early snowmelt from March 24-29. In Utah, 20-45% of sites with at least 50 years of data observed daily maximum temperatures records on 3/25-3/27. Notable daily high temperature records include the first days over 80ºF during March in Tooele, UT and the hottest March temperature recorded in Ogden (79ºF) and Morgan, UT (77ºF). Daily high temperature records were observed at sites in western and southern Wyoming on 3/26-27 with all-time March high temperatures recorded in Green River, Moose and Wamsutter. In Colorado, fewer maximum daily temperature records were set, but 20-25% of sites with greater than 50 years of observations set daily records on 3/26-27. The temperature record at snotel sites is shorter (10-40 years), but many daily high temperature records were observed. On 3/25, 98 of 106 snotel sites in Utah observed a new daily high temperature record and on 3/27 72 of 114 snotel sites in Colorado recorded new daily high temperature extremes. The cumulative result of the heat wave was the onset of snowmelt in nearly all regional river basins.

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