Dirt is almost all that people can talk about these days in communities along U.S. 50 and 287.
Photos of fierce dust storms rolling across the state's Eastern Plains are showing up on Facebook and local TV news, harking to the Dust Bowl years that devastated southeastern Colorado in the 1930s. Farmers and ranchers are tolling their losses. People are praying for rain.
It's the inevitable result of three seasons of extreme drought in the area â€” D4 this year, the worst on the U.S. Drought Monitor scale, and no relief in sight, said state climatologist Nolan Doesken.
"The first year, it was very dry, but there was still reasonable vegetative cover," he said. "That started deteriorating last year, with more and more bare ground." ...