According to the US Drought Monitor, "exceptional drought" – the most severe level of drought – has significantly increased in recent days in Colorado.
Data from October 6 shows that 16.72 percent of Colorado is now experiencing "exceptional drought" compared to just 2.64 percent of the state on September 29. That's a 533 percent increase. While much of the state was experiencing some form of drought throughout September, conditions continue to worsen.
The entire state of Colorado is experiencing abnormal dryness, with 99.3 percent of the state experiencing some level of drought. More than half the state – 59.23 percent – is experiencing "extreme drought" or worse.
The tiers of drought in order of increasing severity are "abnormally dry," "moderate drought," "severe drought," "extreme drought," and "exceptional drought." Drought conditions of "extreme" or worse are likely to result in severe fire risks, agricultural losses, and an uptick in insect infestations, among other things.
While many upcoming days look dry in Colorado, there's a chance for weekend snow that could help the situation. The verdict is still out on whether or not this storm will hit and, if so, how much snow will fall.