Water year was wetter than normal, but drought designation returns
Despite a dry end to the recently-completed water year, San Juan County experienced a remarkable wet year. The water year runs from October 1 to September 30 every year.
In the past year, Monticello received 136 percent of normal precipitation, including receiving ten feet of snow. Monticello had a full 100 inches more snow in 2019 than fell in 2018.
It is similar in Blanding, which received 17.24 inches of water in the past year, which is 130 percent of normal.
In Bluff, there was 9.16 inches of precipitation in the year, which is 118 percent of normal.
The wet winter recharged ground water stores, filled area reservoirs to overflowing, and relieved a strong drought that had hit the area in the previous year.
Despite the great winter, the summer monsoon season was significantly lighter than normal in the recently completed year. July, August, and September are generally some of the wettest months of the year in San Juan County, but not in 2019.
Since June 1, just 0.31 inches of rain has fallen in Bluff. This is 12 percent of the normal of 2.57 inches during the same four months.
The dryer than normal summer has resulted in San Juan County once again landing on the U.S. Drought Monitor. “Moderate Drought” conditions cover the entire county.