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Published August 23, 2011
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 8/16/11)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
New Mexico generally has received less than 70 percent of average rainfall in the past month. The exception has been in the southwest corner of the state, where storms have delivered more than 130 percent of average. As a result, the entire state is still classified with some drought category (Figures 5a-b). About 42 percent of the state is pegged with exceptional drought, which is defined as a drought that occurs, on average, once in every 50 years. Another 35 and 16 percent of the state is experiencing extreme and moderate drought, respectively. Compared to one month ago, exceptional drought declined by about 6 percent, extreme drought increased by about 4 percent, and moderate drought increased by about 2 percent. The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center September forecast calls for slightly increased chances for below-average rainfall. In addition, the probability for a return of La Niña this winter is increasing. Both these forecasts suggest that drought conditions will not improve and may actually intensify and spread.Notes:
The New Mexico section of the U.S. Drought Monitor is released weekly (every Thursday) and represents data collected through the previous Tuesday. The maps are based on expert assessment of variables including (but not limited to) the Palmer Drought Severity Index, soil moisture, streamflow, precipitation, and measures of vegetation stress, as well as reports of drought impacts. It is a joint effort of several agencies.
This summary contains substantial contributions from the New Mexico Drought Working Group.
For the most current drought status map, visit:
For the most current Drought Status Reports, visit :
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Dan Ferguson, CLIMAS Program Director
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Gigi Owen, CLIMAS Assistant Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Swetish, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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