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KSJD Local Newscast - May 28, 2024

It’s drier than normal in the Four Corners area and it will probably remain that way at least until the summer monsoons. That’s according to information presented by experts at the May 21 Intermountain West Drought Briefing webinar. Assistant State Climatologist at the Utah Climate Center Jon Meyer said a hotter-than-normal summer in the Four Corners area is likely, an outlook that is “disheartening for folks that are not warm-season people.” Most of the Intermountain West had an above-normal snowpack as of April 1, and soil moisture remains good. But Meyer said a couple of years of good snow have not taken the area out of long-term drought. Also, high regional soil moisture tends to delay the arrival of seasonal monsoons. Conditions in Cortez and most of Montezuma County were recently downgraded from “abnormally dry” to “moderate drought.” Meyer said the Four Corners, New Mexico, southern Arizona, and portions of western Utah have had less-than-normal precipitation recently. They remain under drought concern for the summer. The outlook is for a hot, potentially dry summer monsoon season that might get started a bit later than normal. But Meyer said monsoons are “an incredibly challenging weather pattern to predict.”

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Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.