- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) - Rain has pulled Colorado out of its drought, for now.

Rains since last fall have brought Colorado out of a drought and returned the state to a condition that the National Weather Service says it hasn’t seen since August 2009, the Daily Sentinel reported (https://bit.ly/1ObpsJX).

Colorado State Climatologist Nolan Doesken says even though the wet weather probably won’t stick around, it’s worth celebrating. He said El Nino could be a factor in helping end drought conditions.

Parts of the state are “starting to not look like the desert anymore,” Doesken said. “I’m pretty sure that won’t last.”

Data from the weather service’s Climate Protection Center has parts of Utah joining Colorado in leaving the drought behind, with rain this fall expected to improve conditions in Arizona and areas of Nevada and California.

“When in doubt, you blame El NiƱo,” Doesken said. “I don’t know. It’s partially that, maybe.”

Colorado’s Mesa County Drought Information Response Project chairman Dave Reinertsen is the assistant general manager of the Clifton Water District.

“We’re still living in an arid environment,” he said. “”While we may be in a bountiful situation now, we all know what it can turn into in a short period of time.”

The water level on Lake Powell is on the rise toward its high of the season. It’s currently 54 percent full, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.

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Information from: The Daily Sentinel, https://www.gjsentinel.com

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