Mesa County drought status moves from a Severe to Extreme

I stood in the rain on Sunday afternoon in Telluride. I made the trip over to see one of my favorite artist, Grace Potter. With off and on light rain falling thousands stood outside at The Ride Festival to take in the show. It rained so hard earlier that highway 145 was covered with red-clad mud for miles. Sheriff's Deputies were on-site with lights flashing warning drivers to slow down because the mud had made the highway treacherous. Of course, it didn't rain much around Grand Junction and the continued dry weather has the National Weather Service offices upping Mesa County's drought status.

After collecting rainfall data for each week, on Thursdays the National Weather Service posts it's new drought outlook. After comparing the previous week's information the NWS decides to move a counties status up, down, or keep it the same. Despite the moisture, the continued hot and dry conditions were enough to move Mesa County from "Severe" to the "Extreme" category. Of the 5 drought stages, the "Extreme" designation is the 4th worst. Local meteorologists were hopeful the county could go back down a stage, but no luck. Until then conserve water when you can and if you know a quality rain dance, now's the time to break it out!

Credit: KKCO11News