2018 24th driest year on record, experts say; forecasts show hope for coming months

Published: Sep. 6, 2018 at 12:16 AM MDT
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Despite recent rain, it has been quite a dry year in Colorado.

"What we are sitting at right now as of Aug. 31 is 4.32" of precipitation," said Tom Renwick with the National Weather Service. "But the driest year up to this date is 1.73" back in 1972."

That makes 2018 24th driest year on record in Grand Junction, dating back to the late 1800's. The problem is that last year was even worse, meaning two years of drought conditions. But forecasters say there is hope.

"Come September, October, November we should have above chances for precipitation," Renwick said. "And September is the wettest month, climatologically speaking, in the Grand Junction area."

Forecasters say there is a good chance the Grand Valley should see a switch from a La Niña pattern to an El Niño pattern.

"That means more precipitation down in the San Juan's and better chances for [Grand Junction]," Renwick said.

The City of Grand Junction has implemented mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use because of the drought. Residents in the city who use water for outdoor watering purposes are allowed two days of watering per week in September and 1 day a week in October.