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Monsoon helps ease drought in Southwest states

Published August 7, 2014 7:13 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Denver • A generous monsoon has helped ease drought conditions in Colorado and the Southwest, but parts of the hard-hit southern Plains still have a long way to go.

Between 2 and 6 inches of rain fell in storms last week across the plains of Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, which have been stuck in a drought for nearly four years, said the U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday. However, the region will need extended rain and snowfall to make up for the 20 to 30 inches of moisture lost during that time, said U.S. Department of Agriculture meteorologist Brad Rippey, the report's author.

"It will take several seasons of significant rain to break the backbone of this drought," he said.

Meanwhile, rangeland and pasture in New Mexico and Arizona and are still fairly dry, but conditions have improved.