Above-average spring and summer rains have helped break a 3½-year drought in La Plata County.
Higher-than-average precipitation in the region could continue into the winter if El Niño patterns persist, said Jim Pringle, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Junction.
"It looks highly likely La Plata County should stay out of any drought classification," Pringle said.
The official drought designation for the Durango area ended June 16. But it has persisted for the southern portion of La Plata County, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The last time the county was completely drought-free was January 2012. There was also a brief reprieve from drought for most of the county from November 2013 through January 2014, according to the monitor.
Data from the weather service's Climate Prediction Center has parts of Utah leaving the drought behind, too, and fall rain is expected to improve conditions in Arizona and areas of Nevada and California.