The intense rainfall over the Rockies and western plains has grabbed headlines over the past week, unfortunately for all the wrong reasons. Severe damage, loss of property and life is still being assessed as of this writing.
The past week has likely erased some of the long term drought in many areas of Colorado, New Mexico and some portions of western Kansas. Some areas most impacted by the drought of 2011-2012 have received the most rain this summer and into September. In the graphic below you can see that some areas of Montana, southeastern Wyoming, portions of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and eastern Oregon have received over 200% (blue( of normal rainfall from the middle of July the middle of September. There are many areas in the same states and surrounding states that have received 100% to 150% of normal precipitation since the middle of July (green). You can also see the areas that have been dry (yellow, orange and red areas), especially central and southern California, Iowa and northern Missouri.
Here is a closer look at the big rains in Colorado, Wyoming and western Kansas. Notice the areas of 20+ inches of rain over the last 90 days across portions of the foothills and mountains of Colorado and far southern Wyoming. Also, there are some very impressive rain totals in portions of Kansas and Nebraska as well.
Below is close look at New Mexico, Arizona and west Texas. Some locations have received more rain in the last 90 days then during all of 2012!
Expect the drought status below (from September 10, 2013) to look much different in the west when it updates this week.