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Published September 23, 2010
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 9/14/10)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions across New Mexico have remained unchanged from last month, according to the September 14 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figures 5a–b). A small area of abnormally dry conditions continues over the northwest quarter of the state. Monsoon rains have been limited in this area and have not provided any relief to the dry conditions. Overall monsoon season precipitation has been fairly robust across the rest of New Mexico, with most areas observing at least average rainfall over the past 90 days. This has helped keep short-term drought conditions from creeping back into the southern and eastern parts of the state.
Eyes are now turning towards the upcoming fall and winter seasons with the concern that drought conditions may move in across the Southwest. There is a growing chance that strengthening La Niña conditions will shift winter storm tracks away from the Southwest, leaving New Mexico with below-average precipitation through next spring. The most recent seasonal precipitation forecast issued by the NOAA–Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calls for increased odds for a dry winter (see page 15). This forecast reflects a greater than 90 percent chance that the La Niña event will persist through March 2011. La Niña events often bring below-average precipitation to the Southwest.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.
The CLIMAS Web site contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials.... Read full disclaimer