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Published March 27, 2013
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 3/19/13)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
The last 30 days brought below-average precipitation to many parts of New Mexico, keeping severe to extreme drought conditions firmly entrenched (Figures 5a–b). While a few winter storms did pass through the state, they delivered only light and spotty precipitation, which did not help short- and long-term precipitation deficits that continue to mount across the state. In the past month, for example, 5 to 50 percent of average precipitation fell across much of the state. In some of the higher elevations in the upper Rio Grande Basin, precipitation deficits in the last month reached nearly 2 inches. Also, parts of the Four Corners region received 0.5 inches below-average precipitation, while many weather stations in the lower Rio Grande Basin around Las Cruces recorded a deficit of around a third of an inch.
Some level of drought covers about 98.5 percent of New Mexico, with extreme drought blanketing about half of the state, according to the March 19 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Also, extreme drought intensified into exceptional drought in the past month in parts of the northeast corner of the state—the only regions in both Arizona and New Mexico with an exceptional drought classification. It has been nearly two-and-a-half years since the majority of New Mexico was drought-free.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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