Despite snow, Colorado's drought outlook uncertain

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DENVER (AP) -- Climate researchers say the outlook for improvement in Colorado's drought is uncertain even though holiday storms have improved the mountain snowpack.

State Climatologist Nolan Doesken (DUH-skin) said Thursday this week's snow has been good for skiers and gave the state a nice holiday look, as well as providing some relief from dry conditions that prevailed in early December.

But Doesken says the forecast for January doesn't include much moisture.

Snow levels were as low as 40 percent of average earlier this month in the state's eight major river basins.

On Thursday, the levels ranged from a low of 63 percent of average in the Arkansas River Basin to 85 percent in the Yampa and White river basins.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows Colorado conditions ranging from moderate to exceptional drought.

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