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


...Moderate Drought Across ~24% of 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 Precipitation

August 2016.  The monsoon finally kicked in with a bang in the early days of the month and continued through the 10th, with most areas above to much above normal. The tenth through 20th were less active, but there were still locally heavy rain amounts. The 21st was a very wet day across the state, especially for the south (not represented yet on map). The exceptions to the above normal rainfall have been spotty, mainly in the east central portions of the state.


July 2016.  The first three weeks of July were relatively quiet. However, large hail and damaging winds struck parts of Harding County, including around Solano, Mosquero and Logan on the 3rd.  Welcome rain finally fell over the east on the 14th and 15th. Some monsoon moisture made it into western and central portions of the state starting on the 17th and then continued through through the 23rd. A back door cold front on the 24th helped eastern areas receive some rain as well. The final week of the month was active with widespread showers and thunderstorms, and isolated minor flooding. Flash flooding occurred in Chilili on the evening of the 24th, due to debris from the Dog Head burn scar.  

Percent of Average Precipitation

January - June 2016. The first 6 months of 2016 has averaged 80 percent of normal. While there have been periods of above normal precipitation, most areas have been below normal.

. 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 Precipitation

October 2015 - July 2016.  The start of the 2016 Water Year was off to an excellent start until much drier conditions developed in early January. Unfortunately, February was even worse and March was downright abbysmal. Statewide precipitation for the October 2015 to March 2016 period averaged 126 percent of normal. It's been a roller coast ride though. The first three months of the water year, October through December, averaged 188 percent of normal (7th wettest on record) while January through March only averaged 44 percent of normal (11th driest on record)! April finally reversed the drying trend and ended up with 129 percent of normal, while May was 85 percent of normal and June 97 percent of normal. It was a dry July with only 53 percent of normal rainfall. For the calendar year, precipitation was at 71 percent of normal. For the water year (October - July), statewide precipitation was just above normal, at 102 percent of normal. 



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.


October 2015 - July 2016

(click map to enlarge)


Long Range Precipitation/Drought Outlook 

The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation during September 2016 is equal chances of above, near or below normal for central and eastern areas of the atate, with a tilt toward above normal in the west. The outlook from September through November 2016 is for equal chances of above, near or below normal precipitation. 

one month CPC precipitation outlook


three month CPC precipitation outlook

1 Month Precipitation CPC Outlooks

(click map to enlarge)

3 Month Precipitation CPC Outlooks

(click map to enlarge)

The seasonal outlook below indicates the moderate drought over western New Mexico will likely be removed through the remainder of the summer, with the exception of the far northwest.  


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 26 percent of capacity as of August 1, 2016.

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 computer models (lower graphic) show neutral conditions are expected to transition to La Nina conditions by the end of the 2016 summer, with La Nina conditions for the 2016 fall and winter.  A La Nina watch 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. In New Mexico, abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought have increased across the state this summer.

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 (updated)
Water Supply Forecast

Additional Information

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

This product will be updated in late August, or sooner as 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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