Drought Conditions Worsen Just a Bit in Early December Across New Mexico...
...65% of the State is Still in Moderate to Extreme Drought...
...29% of the State is Still in Severe to Extreme Drought...
The start of the 2014 calendar year was extremely dry. January statewide precipitation was well below normal to non-exsistent with only 4% of normal! This was the driest January on record going back to 1895, with a statewide average of only 0.03 inches. February was an improvement, but still well below normal at only 27% normal precipitation. That makes the first two months of 2014 the driest on record, with only 16% of normal precipitation, and a statewide average of just 0.20 inches. March was better, but below normal, at 64% of the statewide average. For the first three months of 2014, statewide average precipitation was 34% of normal, at 0.67 inches. This was 1.32 inches below normal, the 3rd driest on record. April received 53 percent of normal. This made statewide precipitation for January through April only 41 percent of normal - the 7th driest four month start to any year. The average deficit across the state was -1.61 inches. May came in as the 'wettest' month of the year, at 89% of normal. June turned drier with a statewide average of 55% of normal. That makes 2014 at 56% of normal precipitation, a statewide deficit of 2.18 inches below normal, and the 13th driest first six months on record. Initial July rainfall totals are much better, with significant rainfall over much of the state. July was the first month this year with above normal precipitation. This brought the yearly average statewide precipitation up to 80 percent of normal. The monsoon fizzled a bit in August but did end up at 87 percent of normal bringing the yearly precipitation to 82 percent of average. September will end up being an extremely wet month for southern New Mexico, much less so for central and northern portions of the state. Overall, the statewide average was 190 percent of normal. October returned to below normal statewide precipitation, at 56 percent of normal. November was also below normal, but just slightly at 95 percent of normal.
Below is statewide precipitation totals and the departure from normal through October of this year. Precipitation was 94 percent of normal through the first ten months of 2014.
For previous months and years (back to 2002) click here. Make sure you click the circle by "Precipitation Summary".
November 2014. Early November (2nd-3rd) produced widespread, welcome rain over the southeast two-thirds of New Mexico. A powerful cold front sent temperatures plummeting late on the 11th through the 12th. A little snow developed behind this front late on the 12th and 13th. A much more widespread snow event ensued on the 15th and 16th, blanketing northern and eastern New Mexico. Some mountain communities received over a foot of snow, with 3 to 6 inches common over the eastern highlands and 1 to 3 inches across the eastern plains. This produced above normal precipitation across much of the north and east.
October 2014. Portions of the east central and southeast plains as well as the northwest remain werebelow normal while above normal precipitation existed in the far northeast. The rest of the state was varied, but generally near to below normal.
October 2013 - September 2014. Average precipitation for the 2014 Water Year was 93% of normal. The northwest fared the worst, while the southeast did well, thanks to an extremely wet September.
The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation during December 2014 favors above normal precipitation over all of the state, especially the southeast third. The outlook from December through February 2014 also leans toward better chances of above normal precipitation, especially across central southern New Mexico.
The seasonal outlook below indicates drought will either continue to improve or be removed over southern New Mexico while northern areas may experience drought that will persist or intensify through the winter.
US Seasonal Drought Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center
(click map to enlarge)
The current U.S. Drought Monitor map depiction of drought for New Mexico can be found at:
Reservoir storage is below capacity at nearly all lakes across the state. Water levels are lowest at Abiquiu, Cochiti, Caballo, Brantley, Elephant Butte and Sumner Lakes. Average statewide reservoir storage is only 22 percent of capacity. You can use the link below to see the current percent of storage capacity at all the major New Mexico dams:
All public lands, National Parks and Monuments, BLM lands, State Parks and tribal lands are open across New Mexico. There are numerous 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.
New Mexico Water Watch from the USGS
(click map to enlarge image)
1. CPC (Climate Prediction Center) forecasters (top graphic) and models (lower graphic) continue to indicate the likelyhood of El Nino conditions this winter into the spring. An El Nino watch remaines in effect.
2. Below is an animation of the weekly U.S. Drought monitor for 2014 (through mid December) across the United States. Note how the drought worsens over New Mexico through most of May before improving from late May through this summer and into the fall.
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated in late December, 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.
Thanks to Deirdre Kann, our Science and Operations Officer, for providing many of the links, the automatically updating graphics and the design of much of this page.
If you have any questions or comments about this drought information statement, please contact:
National Weather Service
or by e-mail to: