Finally get snow, but still way too dry

The region finally received its first measurable snowfall of the season over the New Year’s Day weekend.
However, the drought continues in a big way.

About two to three inches of the white stuff fell on the Yuma area, overnight Friday into Saturday. It was a light, dry snow, though, so it did not pack much precipitation.
The snow that fell the evening of New Year’s Eve brought to close another dry year.
The Year 2021 featured a total of 12.65 inches of precipitation, according to the CoAgMet weather station located at the Irrigation Research Foundation site.
That is actually more than fell in 2020, when the Yuma area received only about eight inches, giving the area roughly 20 inches over two years. That is well below the historical average.
Most of the Yuma precipitation in 2021 fell between March and June, when the area received a total of 10.18 inches, accounting for 80 percent of the year’s moisture.
The only significant precipitation event in Yuma since the end of June came on September 3, when a downpour dumped 1 inch or rain on a Friday evening.
Since then, Yuma has received 0.59 of an inch.
May was the wettest month of the year, with 3.9 inches.
October was the driest, with 0.02 of an inch, barely edging November (0.05) and February (0.09).
Most of northeast and eastern Colorado are in either “Severe” or “Extreme” drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor found at
The 2021 winter wheat crop was able to rally for a decent yield thanks to the spring’s wet stretch, though some of that benefit was lost thanks to hot and windy weather in June right before harvest. It will require another exceptional stretch of precipitation again sometime in the coming months to again save the wheat crop.
Pasture land and CRP land will continue to struggle, even if the moisture does come eventually. It will take years of roughly normal moisture to get those lands back to being fully restored.
The drought conditions also are impacting the region’s wildlife. The wheat fields are particularly important for the pheasant population as it provides nesting cover. Less cover means less chicks make it through hatching. The younger pheasants provide the best chances for hunters, so another tough year in 2022 will further impact the hunting, which is a big economic driver in the region.