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 phase probability
(IRI)

( updated monthly )

ENSO Model Projections Plume
(IRI)

( updated monthly )

Latest Briefing

January 10, 2023 - CO, UT, WY

Lots of snow and favorable water supply forecasts are the December climate headliner. Snowpack is above average for nearly the entire region with statewide SWE ranging from 116% normal in Colorado to 132% in Wyoming to 155% in Utah. Regional precipitation was generally above average and temperatures were below average during December. January 1st seasonal streamflow forecasts are near-to-above average except for the river basins east of the Continental Divide in Colorado, where forecasts are below average. Neutral ENSO conditions are expected to form by late winter and there is an increased probability of above average January precipitation throughout the region.

 

Precipitation was above to much-above average for much of the Intermountain West during December. Large areas of Colorado, Utah and western Wyoming received greater than 150% of average December precipitation. Some locations in south-central Wyoming experienced the wettest December on record. Southeastern Colorado, northwestern Utah and southeastern Wyoming received below average precipitation. Precipitation from strong atmospheric rivers comprised the majority of December precipitation at many locations. For most regional mountain locations, water year precipitation is near-to-above normal.

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For the third month in a row, regional temperatures were mostly below average. December temperatures below normal in Wyoming and slightly below normal in northern Colorado and northern Utah. Southern Colorado and southern Utah experienced slightly above normal temperatures. Below normal temperatures were observed in the first three months of the water year (October-December) in the entire region for the first time since 2019.

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Regional snowpack was above to much-above average for all river basins except the Arkansas (70%) and Rio Grande (77%). As of January 1st, statewide snow water equivalent was highest in Utah (155%) and much above average in Wyoming (132%) and above average in Colorado (116%). Over the last 20 years in Utah, January 1st percent normal SWE was higher only in 2005 and 2011; both of these water years ended with SWE at greater than 150% of normal. Significant snowfall during the first three days of January led to higher percent normal SWE values in the westwide snotel map from 1/3/23 compared to the SWE by basin table. Notably, the Arkansas (80%) and Rio Grande (89%) River basins crept closer to average by January 3rd.

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January 1st seasonal streamflow forecasts in the Upper Colorado River and Great Basins are near-to-above normal. Near-normal seasonal streamflow volumes (90-110%) are forecasted for the Upper Bear, Colorado, Dolores, Upper Green, Gunnison, San Juan, Sevier and Virgin Rivers. Above normal seasonal streamflow (110-120%) is forecasted for the Lower Bear, Lower Green, White and Yampa River basins. Much-above normal seasonal streamflow (>130%) is forecasted for the Provo River, Weber River and Six Creeks basins. Seasonal streamflow forecasts for all large Upper Colorado River Basin reservoirs are near normal and Lake Powell’s inflow forecast is 105% of normal. East of the Continental Divide in Colorado, seasonal streamflow forecasts are below normal for the Arkansas and Rio Grande Rivers and much-below normal for the South Platte River. Wyoming seasonal streamflow forecasts near-to-slightly above normal for all river basins. While late fall soil moisture remained below normal for much of the region, above normal precipitation and below normal temperatures since October 1st led to favorable streamflow forecasts. It is important to note that there is still three months of the snow accumulation season left and January 1st streamflow forecasts contain significant uncertainty. As observed  in 2022, water supply conditions can change dramatically from January to April.

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Regional drought conditions improved slightly during December. On January 3rd, drought covered 58% of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, down from 66% in late November. Drought remains across all of Utah, but significant removal of extreme drought conditions occurred during December. Extreme drought coverage in Utah decreased from 50% in late November to 27% on January 3rd. Drought conditions remain in about 50% of Colorado and Wyoming, but some portions of extreme drought were removed in eastern Colorado and there was a one category improvement in drought conditions across the northern half of Colorado.

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La Niña conditions persisted during December, but all ocean temperature models forecast warming waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean. There is a 65% probability of La Niña conditions continuing through February, but neutral ENSO conditions are forecasted for spring and summer (60-80% probability). There are some signs that El Niño conditions may form during fall 2023. The NOAA January precipitation outlook suggests an increased probability of above average precipitation for most of the region, especially in eastern Wyoming. The NOAA seasonal outlook for January-March suggests an increased probability of above average precipitation for northern Wyoming and below normal precipitation for southern Utah and much of Colorado. There are equal chances of above or below normal temperatures for most of the region from January to March.

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Significant December weather event. Severe cold wave. A strong Arctic cold front brought extreme winds, cold temperatures and record-hourly temperature decreases to the region on 12/21-12/23. Extremely high pre-frontal winds battered the Wasatch Mountains. At 11,000 feet on Hidden Peak, east of Salt Lake City, winds blew above hurricane force for 14 hours with peak hourly wind speeds of 88 mph, gusting to 124 mph. Elsewhere in the Wasatch Mountains, winds peaked at 80-100 mph. Further east, the intense Arctic cold front caused record hourly temperature decreases. Record hourly temperature decreases occurred with frontal passage in Cheyenne (40ºF), Denver (37º.1F) and Fort Collins (42.3ºF). In Cheyenne, the temperature dropped 32ºF in 9 minutes and 51ºF in 2 hours. Intense snow squalls associated with the cold front created blizzard conditions and closed highways along the Front Range and in eastern Wyoming.

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Daily record low temperatures and daily record low maximum temperatures were observed in Colorado and Wyoming on 12/22-12/23. In Wyoming, all-time minimum temperature records were set in Atlantic City (-36ºF), Casper (-42ºF), Midwest (-42ºF) and Powder River (-40ºF). All-time low maximum temperature records were set in Atlantic City (-15ºF), Powder River (-13ºF), Shoshoni (-12ºF) and Worland (-20F), Wyoming. Limón, CO set an all-time low maximum temperature of -10ºF on 12/23. Daly record minimum and minimum maximum temperatures were set across Colorado and Wyoming on 12/22 (22 records) and 12/23 (47 records). Only locations with at least 60 years of weather data were considered for this analysis.  

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December 7, 2022 - CO, UT, WY

Regional precipitation was a mix of above to much-above normal conditions in northern and western Utah, western Wyoming, and northwestern Colorado, and below to much-below normal conditions in eastern Utah and Wyoming, and most of Colorado. Temperatures were below normal for the entire region. Regional snowpack is near normal for a majority of Colorado and Wyoming and is slightly above to much-above normal in Utah. Regional drought has slightly expanded, with a slight expansion in Wyoming, a slight improvement in Colorado, and a very slight improvement in Utah. La Niña conditions are expected to persist through winter, but will likely return to ENSO-neutral conditions by spring. NOAA December precipitation forecasts suggest an increased probability of above normal precipitation for most of Utah and Wyoming, while probabilities for above normal, below normal, and equal chances are split for Colorado. 

 

November precipitation was above normal (125-200% of average) throughout much of Utah, Wyoming, and northwestern Colorado, and much-above normal (200-800%) in western Utah. Precipitation was below normal (25-75%) in eastern Utah and eastern Wyoming, and was below normal to much-below normal (<25%) in Colorado. Record-wettest conditions were observed in Tooele and Box Elder Counties in Utah, and record-driest conditions were observed in Kit Carson, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Bent, and Prowers Counties in Colorado.

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November temperatures were slightly below normal (0 to -3°F) to below normal (-3 to -9°F) for the entire region, with pockets of much-below normal temperatures (-9 to -15°F) in northwestern Wyoming and central Utah.

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As of December 1st, snow-water equivalent (SWE) was much-above normal in northern and southwestern Utah and slightly above normal in eastern Utah. SWE was near-normal in much of northern Wyoming, above normal in parts of northern and southwestern Wyoming, and below normal in southeastern Wyoming. SWE was near-normal in northern Colorado and below normal in southern Colorado. It was the third snowiest November in Denver in the last 15 years. Most SNOTEL sites above 8,000 ft. reported 2-6” of SWE in Utah and Wyoming, and 1-4” in Colorado. 

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Regional drought coverage remained unchanged from October to November. Drought has been spatially consistent from October to November in our region (CO, UT, WY) with pockets of exceptional (D4) drought remaining particularly in Sanpete County in central Utah and Sedgwick and Phillips Counties in northeastern Colorado. Extreme (D3) drought has expanded to cover 6% of southeastern Wyoming and 4% of eastern Colorado. D3 drought continues to cover 50% of central Utah, although it has improved slightly. D3 drought was removed from the Green and Snake River basins in western Wyoming.

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Record-low flows were observed at several locations, including the North Fork Cache La Poudre, San Juan, and White Rivers in Colorado; and the Bear, Dirty Devil, Fremont, San Rafael, and Sevier Rivers in Utah. Many sites in the region, particularly in Utah, recorded below to much-below normal November streamflows. However, there are also many sites throughout the region with normal streamflows, as well as above normal streamflows at six sites in Colorado, five in Utah, and one in Wyoming. There were a few sites that observed much-above normal streamflows, including Blue River in Colorado and Little Bighorn River in Wyoming. 

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A La Niña advisory remained in place during November as below average sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies persisted in the equatorial Pacific Ocean and increased in the east-central Pacific Ocean, causing temperatures that were nearly 1°C below normal. SST models predict a 76% probability of La Niña conditions continuing through winter (December-February). However, ocean temperatures are projected to warm by the end of winter and there is a 65% probability of ENSO-neutral conditions by early spring (February-April). The NOAA monthly precipitation forecast for December indicates a 40-50% chance of above normal precipitation for western Wyoming and northern Utah, and a 33-40% chance of above normal precipitation in northwestern Colorado, central Utah from west to east, and most of eastern and central Wyoming. There is an increased probability of above normal temperatures in southern Colorado and below normal temperatures in northwestern Utah and central Wyoming from west to east. There are higher probabilities of below normal temperatures in northern Wyoming. Over this winter (December-February), the NOAA seasonal precipitation forecast predicts an increased probability of above normal precipitation in northern and central Wyoming and a 33-40% chance of below normal precipitation in southeastern Utah and southern to eastern Colorado. The seasonal temperature forecast shows a 33-40% chance of above normal temperatures in southern to western Colorado and southern to central Utah during the winter. The forecast shows a 33-40% chance of below normal temperatures in northern Wyoming this winter.

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Significant November weather event: Colder than average temperatures covered the entire region with monthly temperatures ranging from 0 to -15°F below normal for the western U.S. Temperatures were coldest in northwestern Wyoming, where November temperatures were up to 8 degrees below normal in Park, Bighorn, Washakie, and Hot Springs Counties. The majority of Colorado and Wyoming experienced below normal temperatures (bottom 33rd percentile) and the majority of Utah experienced much-below normal temperatures (bottom 10th percentile). In Wyoming, Moose experienced its coldest November on record, Jackson and Lamar Ranger Station experienced their second coldest November on record, and Old Faithful and Tower Junction experienced their third coldest November on record. Denver and Salt Lake City had their coldest November since 2000 with average monthly temperatures of 35.6°F and 37.2°F, respectively. Statewide, November 2022 was Colorado’s 20th coldest November since 1895; temperatures were 3.1°F below the 20th-century average.

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