Drought map shows stress areas in state

May 25, 2012 Staff and wire reports

Drought conditions were beginning to show up in parts of Wyoming before the wet weather this week improved the situation.

The U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that 78 percent of the state was drier than normal and another 34 percent was considered to have moderate drought conditions at the time the map was issued.

Less than 1 percent in south-central Wyoming along the Colorado border was rated as severe drought.

It's been so dry this spring that Riverton, Lander and Rawlins have implemented voluntary water conservation measures.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map was issued Thursday but is based on data compiled through Tuesday, May 22 -- before a period of damp weather arrived Thursday.

Even with the map's appearance, National Weather Service hydrologist Jim Fahey says it's too early to say that Wyoming is in a drought.

Fahey says how much moisture Wyoming gets by the end of June will be a good indicator of whether the state is in a drought.

He a good monsoon season later this summer could turn things around.

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