September 21, 2013--Winter snow, not summer rain, defines a drought (Colorado Springs Gazette)

Although recent storms have dumped enough water on some areas of Colorado to set off major flooding, the state is still a long way from escaping lingering drought. "There will be some improvement across the area, but we are still well below normal," said Mark Wankowski, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pueblo. The wet fall, he added, is no indication that this winter will produce more snow than last year, he added. "There is no correlation between a wet fall and wet winter," Wankowski said. "Forecast for the winter is that there is an equal chance of below, above or near-normal precipitation. Basically, it's up in the air." Still, as of Tuesday much of Colorado was a lot damper, according to recorded rainfall amounts and the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. Since Jan. 1, 17.66 inches of precipitation has been recorded in Colorado Springs, 3 inches above the normal precipitation level for that time period. Last year at this time, Wankowski said, Colorado Springs had received 7.33 inches of precipitation. That 10 inches of additional water this year "is definitely helping," ease drought, he said. But its impact is short term.

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