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Published November 21, 2012
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 11/13/12)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
Dry conditions continued to plague much of New Mexico, as above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation in the last 30 days did not provide any relief to short- and long-term drought conditions. Currently, all of the state except a small sliver in the southeast corner is experiencing some level of drought, according to the November 13 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figures 5a–b). Severe or more intense drought conditions cover about 75 percent of the state—an increase of about 9 percent from one month ago. Most of this shift from moderate to severe drought occurred in the southwestern corner, where short-term conditions worsened due to the recent lack of precipitation. Drought in New Mexico has largely improved over the past 12 months—only 16 percent of the state is classified with extreme or exceptional drought, compared to about 63 percent one year ago.
In other drought indices, the Vegetation Drought Index (VegDRI), which is a measure of the stress on vegetation due to drought, shows widespread moderate to severe drought impacts to vegetation across all of New Mexico. Areas of extreme drought stress also have emerged over the past 30 days in Grant and Catron counties in the southwest and in Guadalupe and De Baca counties the east. In contrast, drought stress has eased in the far southeastern corner of the state, where conditions are near average or in pre-drought stages.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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