Another dry month strengthens drought
With a sixth consecutive month of dryer-than-normal weather, San Juan County appears to be locked in a drought.
The most recent US Drought Monitor, released on October 29, shows all of San Juan County in Extreme Drought, with the northern portion of the county classified as Exceptional Drought, which is the worst level on the six-step drought classification system.
In a normal year, the county has a wet monsoon season in July, August, and September. However, the soaking rains of summer did not arrive in 2020, and a dry fall followed the weak monsoon season.
Now, as the winter months hit, area reservoirs are at end-of-season low levels, and the fields and rangeland are mostly dry.
Recapture Reservoir currently holds 54 percent of its capacity and has dropped 13 feet since its high level in June.
Blanding has received lower-than-normal precipitation for six of the last seven months. The one wetter-than-normal month was June, which saw an unprecedented derecho storm on June 6 that dropped a month’s worth of rain in a single terrifying storm.
The rain on June 6 came so suddenly that most of it ran off rather than sink into the soil. In addition, the derecho storm resulted in millions of dollars of damage to area roofs, windows, cars, and more.
In total, the precipitation in Blanding and Monticello since April has been less than half of normal levels.