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Most of San Juan County experiencing moderate drought
It's not just rising sea levels. A warmer planet means drought, extreme weather and raging wildfires across Middle America. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
Drought conditions developed over the past few months
FARMINGTON — San Juan County has seen a return of drought conditions over the past few months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor compiled by the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Currently, the majority of the county is experiencing a moderate drought.
A drought is a prolonged period of low precipitation resulting in a shortage of water. The University of Nebraska Lincoln tracks drought conditions across the country and publishes weekly updates online at droughtmonitor.unl.edu.
According to the National Weather Service, Farmington has received less than half an inch of precipitation since the beginning of October.
San Juan County was not experiencing drought conditions in September and only the southwest corner of the county was considered abnormally dry, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The drought conditions have developed over the past few months. At the end of October, none of the county was considered in drought, however 61 percent of the county was considered abnormally dry. By the end of November, nearly 86 percent of the county was considered in drought and the entire county was considered abnormally dry.
A small eastern portion of the county is not currently considered in drought, however it is abnormally dry, according to the drought monitor. At this time last year, much of San Juan County was considered abnormally dry, but no part of the county was experiencing drought conditions.
According to the report accompanying the drought monitor map, snowpack in southern Colorado is less than 50 percent of normal and southern Utah, Arizona and New Mexico had snowpack levels of less than 20 percent of normal.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Dolores, San Juan, Animas and San Miguel basins in Colorado have 25 percent of their normal snowpack as of Tuesday. The snowpack from the river basins in Colorado feeds the rivers that run through San Juan County.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.