...Extreme to Exceptional Drought Across Most of New Mexico...
...Moderate to Severe Drought Nearly All Remaining Areas...
January through April 2013 statewide precipitation was 47% of normal. The Northwest Plateau has received 65% of normal precipitation while the the Central Valley was only 30% and the Southern Desert only 31% of normal.
May 2013.The first nearly half of the month was saw near to above normal precipitation over the lower Rio Grande Valley and portions of the Southeast Plains while most other areas were below normal.
Percent of Normal Precip: May 1-14, 2013
April 2013. April is in the books and brought near to above normal precipitation to Northwest New Mexico - thanks to the storm on the 8th into the 10th. The remaining two thirds of the state was mostly below to well below normal.
Percent of Normal Precip: April 2013
March 2013. Precipitation in March was below to well below normal across much of New Mexico. There were only a few pockets of near normal precipitation, mainly across the west and central portions of the state.
Percent of Normal Precip: March 2013
October 2012 - April 2013. Statewide average precipitation through the first seven months of the Water Year is only 45% of normal. The driest areas have been the central valley with 27% of normal and the Southern Deserts with 25% of normal precipitation. The 'wettest' area was the Northwest Plateau at 60%.
The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation for June 2013 predicts about equal chances of below normal, normal or above normal precipitation in the west while the central and east are trending toward below normal precipitation. The same is true for the summer months of June through August.
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 well below normal at all lakes across the state. Water levels were particularily low at Abiquiu, Cochiti, Caballo, Brantley, Elephant Butte, Conchas, Santa Rosa and Sumner Lakes. All of these reservoirs were 15 percent or less of their storage capacity! Lake Avalon and Navajo reservoirs had the highest percent of storage at 45% and 55% respectively. You can use the link below to see the current percent of storage capacity at all the major New Mexico dams:
Areas affected by the Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex and Little Bear Fire this year, and the Las Conchas fire in 2011 remain closed. Many national, state and tribal parks and monuments have declared stage one fire restrictions. Please see the following link for a listing of the current fire restrictions:
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. The past 12 months (May 2012 - April 2013) average statewide precipitation ranked as the driest year on record. The last 24 months (May 2013 - April 2013) was also the driest consecutive 24 months on record! Through the first seven months of the current (2013) water year, precipitation ranks as the 19th driest on record (not shown graphically).
2. The graph below shows the model predictions on expected ENSO conditions over the next year, in three month blocks (periods of time). We are still in ENSO-neutral conditions, and most models are favoring the continuation of ENSO-neutral conditions through the late spring, summer and even fall. Here is the link to the latest ENSO Dignostic discussion from the Climate Prediction Center:
Figure provided by the International Research Institute (IRI) for Climate and Society
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated in early June, 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 and automatically updating graphics, and the general design 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: