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Published October 24, 2011
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 10/18/11)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions remain largely unchanged across most of New Mexico compared with one month ago (Figure 5a). The exception is in the northwest quarter of the state, where substantial improvements have occurred. More than 90 percent of New Mexico is classified with moderate or more severe drought, with about 85 percent at the severe to exceptional level, according the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figure 5b). This is slightly better than last month, when drought covered 96 percent of the state, with 90 percent classified as severe to exceptional drought. Almost all of the improvements were observed in the northwest part of the state, which benefitted from a few early winter season storms at the beginning of October. Despite the limited improvements, drought impacts continue to emerge across the state. Cotton crops across eastern New Mexico have been hit hard by short-term drought conditions that have persisted since last winter (The Portales News Tribune, October 20). Cotton farmers are just now starting to harvest crops and are reporting less than half of average yields. Cotton prices remain high, which will temper the large losses expected to hit farmers this season.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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