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Published June 27, 2012
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 6/19/12)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions have intensified across parts of New Mexico due to below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures during the past 30 days. Nearly all of New Mexico continues to experience some level of drought; less than 1 percent is classified with abnormally dry conditions. Also, severe or worse conditions extend over more than 80 percent of the state, according to the June 19 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figures 5a–b). This represents a substantial increase from one month ago, when such conditions blanketed slightly more than 60 percent of the state. The most pronounced drought classification changes occurred in the western half of New Mexico, where drought in some areas moved from abnormally dry to severe. On June 17, 85 percent of New Mexico rangelands rated as poor or very poor. Only 3 percent was rated as being in good or excellent condition, representing the lowest statewide percent in the country.
New Mexico experienced some drought improvement, albeit small. On May 15, a sliver of exceptional drought covered areas of Roosevelt and Curry countries in the east-central part of the state. In the last month, drought in these areas slightly improved to extreme conditions.
In drought-related news, extreme fire hazards brought on by drought caused New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to recommend that cities and counties move quickly to enact local firework bans prior to the July 4 (The Las Cruces Sun-News, June 12).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 Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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