The lingering dry conditions of 2011 have resulted in the development of widespread drought conditions across New Mexico.  Currently, nearly 80% of the state is classified as Extreme or Exceptional Drought. Check out our drought page, and note that the status is updated every week on Thursday. Precipitation for June was also well below normal over most of the state with many locations reporting no precipitation.


Since January 1, only 0.19 inches of precipitation has been reported at the Albuquerque Sunport.  That is the driest start of a calendar year (January 1 through June 30) since official observations began at or near the airport in 1931.  The long term average for the same period is 3.29 inches.  If we compare this year's total through June 30 to historical records for the Albuquerque area starting in 1893, 2011 is still the driest start to a year, as illustrated in the chart below.


chart with record low precip totals for January 1-April 11

The statistics are similar in Roswell.  Using historical records since 1917, January 1 through June 30 of 2011 has been the driest start to the calendar year with just 0.19 inches of precipitation reported.  This is just a small fraction of the average amount of 4.65 inches.

bar chart depicting dry starts of the calendar year in Roswell.

In Clayton, the deficit is not quite as extreme, still the area has a drought classification of extreme. Calendar year 2011 is the 3rd driest since 1935 (though there are missing years in the data record), with 2.30 inches reported this year, or just under a third of the average amount of 6.47 inches.

chart of record dry calendar years at Clayton through June

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