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Published January 25, 2011
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 1/18/11)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions have remained largely unchanged across New Mexico over the past 30 days, according to the January 18 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Abnormally dry conditions cover about 49 percent of the state, down from about 55 percent one month ago (Figures 5a–b). However, moderate drought conditions have slightly expanded from about 40 percent to approximately 43 percent.
Storms have tracked to the north for most of the winter, leaving much of southern regions with substantial precipitation deficits. These areas have observed less than 50 percent of average precipitation during the past 90 days. Almost all of the southern half of New Mexico is categorized under moderate drought, while much of the remainder of the state is under the abnormally dry designation. A few winter storms clipped the far northwest corner of the state in late December, helping reduce short-term drought conditions in this region. The current moderate to strong La Niña event may continue to limit precipitation across the region. This could lead to rapid deterioration and expansion of drought conditions, especially in the southern half of New Mexico where the influence of La Niña events historically has been the strongest.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
- 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 Dubious, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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