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Published January 23, 2013
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 1/15/13)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
Nearly all of New Mexico is experiencing moderate or a more severe drought category, with about 61 and 32 percent classified as severe or extreme drought, respectively (Figures 5a–b). Precipitation events were few and far between in the last month, measuring 70 percent of average for most of the state. Consequently, drought conditions have not improved and remain virtually the same as they were in mid-December, with the exception of the northwest corner where conditions deteriorated from severe to extreme drought. The eastern region is the hardest-hit in the state; it continues to experience widespread extreme drought, with a few locations experiencing exceptional drought conditions.
In drought-related news, livestock producers from New Mexico and Texas convened in Lubbock in early January to discuss how to respond to current drought conditions and their impact on ranching across the region (Lubbock-Avalanche-Journal, January 16). Many attendees discussed strategies to rebuild herds that had been completely liquidated last year due to lack of forage. The current situation, with beef demand high and livestock numbers low, makes purchasing livestock to replenish herds expensive.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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