Extreme drought still covers Moffat County, experts say | CraigDailyPress.com
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Extreme drought still covers Moffat County, experts say

Tubers head down the Yampa River early this month, but rising water temperatures may make sights like this rare as the summer progresses. If water temperatures exceed 75 degrees for two days in a row, commercial tubing operations will be shut down, and a voluntary closure would ask all river users to stay out of the water.
John F. Russell

According to this week’s Drought Monitor — part of the National Centers for Environmental Information’s climate data — Moffat County’s drought situation continues to be considered in the worst category of states across the nation.

In the report, Moffat County and other parts of Northwest Colorado are listed as D4, or “exceptional drought.” To be considered D4, an area’s dust storms and topsoil removal are widespread and agricultural and recreational economic losses are large.

“Drought intensified in the worst-hit regions (of the United States), with the extreme to exceptional drought area also increasing this week, reaching a record high of 21.4% (of the country considered D4),” the report says. “The previous record high percent area in extreme to exceptional drought was 20.2% which occurred on August 7, 2012 and tied just last week.”



Droughts can become significant factors when it comes to devastating wildfires, according to drought.gov. Last week, Gov. Jared Polis declared an emergency in next-door Routt County after the Muddy Slide Fire burned over 4,000 acres. As of Wednesday, 70% of the Muddy Slide Fire was contained, and it is believed that the fire was caused by lightning.


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