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Published May 26, 2011
New Mexico Drought Status(through 5/17/11)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
The drought situation continues to rapidly deteriorate across New Mexico after another month of exceptionally dry weather (Figure 5a). Almost all of New Mexico is classified under some level of drought, with moderate drought or a more severe drought category covering 97 percent of the state (Figure 5b). The remaining 3 percent, located in the northwest corner, has abnormally dry conditions. According to the May 17 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor, the area classified with exceptional drought conditions jumped to 31 percent, up from 0 percent in mid-April. Exceptional is the most intense drought category and is reserved for events that occur once in every 50 years. All of southern New Mexico is observing extreme or exceptional drought conditions as a result of precipitation totals during the past six months that were less than 10 percent of average. Impacts include increased fire activity, low irrigation water allocations, and poor range conditions.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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