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Published August 21, 2013
New Mexico Drought Status(data through August 13, 2013)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
Monsoon rain has been falling in the right places across almost all of New Mexico, helping spur improvements in short-term drought conditions. However, even with rainfall exceeding 125 percent of average in many parts of the state since July 1, a full recovery from drought conditions remains far off—drought is slow to develop and slow to disappear. The improvement in long-term drought conditions, which are most visible in water resources stored in reservoirs, requires many successive seasons of average or above-average conditions. Even with copious summer rains so far, the state, on average, has experienced 77 percent of average precipitation since October 1, when the water year began, due to a dry winter.
Currently, almost all of New Mexico is experiencing at least moderate drought, according to the August 13 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figures 5a–b). Extreme and exceptional drought cover about 46 and 20 percent of the state, respectively. Despite these high numbers, intense drought has improved substantially in the last month, when extreme and exceptional drought covered 48 and 38 percent of the state, respectively. Also on the bright side, a small area of actual drought-free conditions cropped up in southern Eddy County, where summer precipitation has been 300–400 percent of average.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.
Current drought status map:
Current Drought Status Reports, visit:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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