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Published March 24, 2011
New Mexico Drought Status(through 3/15/11)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee , U.S. Drought Monitor
Very little precipitation fell across New Mexico over the past 30 days, causing drought conditions to continue to expand and intensify. According to the March 15 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor over 92 percent of the state is observing some level of drought, with more than 84 percent of the area classified as moderate drought or worse (Figure 5a–b). The biggest changes in drought conditions since last month were the expansion of moderate drought from the southern half of the state up through the entire northeast quarter. Severe drought also expanded across the southeast quarter of the state. Extreme drought was introduced across the southwest counties of Hidalgo, Grant, and Luna, where less than 25 percent of average precipitation has fallen over the past 90 days. La Niña and its impact on the winter storm track is the most likely culprit behind the winter dry spell and worsening drought conditions across the Southwest. Dry conditions are expected to persist through the upcoming spring season, especially across southern New Mexico, which will most likely cause drought conditions to expand and intensify.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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