Other Hydrologic Information | Special Hydrologic/Climate Features | Related Web Sites  


...No Short Term Drought Across New Mexico...

Current Drought Image for NM

The current and past U.S. Drought Monitor map depictions of drought can be found at:



2016 Calendar Year

January 2016. After an epic end to December 2015 over eastern New Mexico, precipitation through January 2016 was below normal over much of the east, central and west central areas. Above normal areas included the northwest, the Sangre de Cristo mountains and portions of the northeast highlands, the southwest deserts and south central mountains. A small but potent upper level disturbance early on the 25th delivered incredible snow amounts to a small area along the east slopes of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Totals ranged from 18 to 30 inches in several spots.

January 2016. The first days days of the month have been active, with good snowfall over the west and north. The southeast, so far, has missed out on the precipitation bandwagon.


. Previous Months/Years:

For previous months of 2016 and 2015 as well as a recap of the 2015 year,  click here.

For previous months and years (2014 back to 2002)  click here. Make sure you click the circle by "Precipitation Summary".


2016 Water Year

October 2015 - December 2015.  The 2016 Water Year is off to a great start with statewide precipitation averaging 178 percent of normal through the first three months of the water year. This is the 9th wettest first three months on record!

graphic showing example of NOAA?NWS precipitation estimation

(click map to see current data)

Precipitation Estimates and departures from normal can be generated for a variety of time periods including the current day, archived days, the previous month and the calendar year to date.

(click map to enlarge) 

October - December 2015


Long Range Precipitation/Drought Outlook 

The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation during February 2016 strongly favors above normal precipitation statewide, especially in the central and south. The outlook from February through April 2016 strongly favors above normal precipitation across all of New Mexico.


graphic representing CPC 90 day precip outlook

  graphic representing CPC 30 day precip outlook

1 Month Precipitation CPC Outlooks

(click map to enlarge)

3 Month Precipitation CPC Outlooks

(click map to enlarge)

The seasonal outlook below indicates no drought is expected to develop through the rest of the winter and into spring.


US Seasonal Drought Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

Other Hydrologic Information

Reservoir storage is below capacity at all lakes across the state. Average statewide reservoir storage was only 29 percent of capacity as of February 1, 2016. Despite above normal precipitation in 2015 and a sharp reduction in short term drought conditions, it is readily apparent that long term, hydrological drought is very much still with us.

You can use the link below to see the current percent of storage capacity at all the major New Mexico dams (click on "Submit Query"):


All public lands, National Parks and Monuments, BLM lands, State Parks and tribal lands are open across New Mexico. There are some stage one fire restrictions, though. Click on the link below, then scroll down to New Mexico.


Below is a map of real-time streamflow compared to historical streamflow for the current day of the year. Click on the image to take you to the USGS site.

usgs graphic representing streamflow

  New Mexico Water Watch from the USGS  

 (click map to enlarge image)


Special Hydrologic/Climate Features 

 1. CPC (Climate Prediction Center) forecasters (top graphic) and models (lower graphic) continue to indicate El Nino conditions will continue through the winter and spring then trend toward neutral conditions during the 2016 summer. An El Nino advisory remains in effect.


You can get more detailed information on the ENSO forecast from the following links:

2. Below is an animation of the weekly U.S. Drought monitor for the past 6 weeks across the United States. There has been no short term drought across New Mexico since early December of 2015.

6-week Animation

 Related Web Sites

Drought Indices

Drought Indices Explained
Crop Moisture Index
Palmer Drought Severity Index
Percent of Normal Precipitation
SPI (Standardized Precipitation Index)

    External Links and Sites  

New Mexico State Engineer Drought Task Force
Water Supply Forecast

Additional Information

New Mexico Precipitation Summaries
NDMC Climatology 
NDMC Paloeclimatology 
Western Region Climate Center

This product will be updated in early February, or sooner if necessary in response to significant changes in weather, water supply or drought conditions.


The U.S. Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving the NOAA National Weather Service and National Climatic Data Center, the USDA, State and Regional Climate Centers and the National Drought Mitigation Center. Information for this statement has been gathered from the NWS and FAA observation sites, state cooperative extension services, the U.S. Geological Survey and other government agencies.

If you have any questions or comments about this drought information statement, please contact:

National Weather Service
2341 Clark Carr Loop SE
Albuquerque NM 87106

or by e-mail to:



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