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Published May 23, 2012
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 5/15/12)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
Some much-needed rain fell across parts of eastern New Mexico during the past 30 days, helping improve drought conditions in some areas. Overall, however, drought is firmly entrenched across the entire state (Figures 5a–b). About 96 percent of New Mexico is classified with moderate drought or a more severe drought category, according to the May 15 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. The largest changes in drought conditions occurred in the southeastern quarter of the state, where thunderstorm activity in the past several weeks dropped between 1 and 2 inches of rain in some areas. This helped improve conditions by one or two categories, from exceptional drought to severe or extreme levels. On the other hand, below-average precipitation worsened drought conditions in the opposite corner of the state, which is now classified with moderate and severe drought.
In drought-related news, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez issued an official drought declaration this past week for the first time since the 2009 summer. The New Mexico Drought Task Force is reviewing the state drought plan, looking for ways to mitigate current drought impacts and to further prepare for the possibility of continuing or worsening conditions (Associated Press, May 17).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
- Dan Ferguson, CLIMAS Program Director
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Gigi Owen, CLIMAS Assistant Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Swetish, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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