...Over 96 Percent of the State is in Moderate to Exceptional Drought...
...Over 77 Percent of the State is in Severe to Exceptional Drought...
...Over 40 Percent of the State in Extreme to Exceptional 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 is -1.61 inches. May came in as the 'wettest' month of the year, at 89% of normal. That makes this year at 53% percent of normal precipitation, a statewide average of -1.79 inches below normal.
July 2014. The first 18 days of July have delivered much needed rain to the state, especially to central and east central portions of New Mexico.
June 2014. June was quite a contrast in precipitation. The northwest and west central portions of the state were virtually dry. The east, on the other hand, has been wet, thanks to thunderstorms with heavy rain from the 5th through 8th. Thus the streaky nature to the precipitation departures shown below, as individual storms dropped copious amounts of rain. Precipitation departures are 300 to 400 percent or more above normal in several eastern areas. Central areas were mixed, but generally below normal.
May 2014. May was the wettest month of the year so far, probably ending up near to a little above normal. The southwest third has faired the worst while much of central and eastern New Mexico was near to above normal. The east central to southeast plains were the big winners with some locations reported up to 400 percent above normal rainfall.
October 2013 - May 2014. Average precipitation for the first eight months of the 2014 Water Year was 58% of normal.
The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation for August 2014 favors above normal precipitation over much of the state. The outlook from August through October calls for better chances of above normal precipitation compared to near or below normal precipitation.
The seasonal outlook below indicates drought will improve over much of New Mexico and may even be removed across portions of central new Mexico.
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 24 percent of capacity. You can use the link below to see the current percent of storage capacity at all the major New Mexico dams:
Areas affected by past large fires in 2011, 2012 and 2013 are closed. Please see the following link for a listing of the current closures and fire restrictions. Click on the small map of New Mexico, then Fire Alert link at the top right of the page.
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 graph) and models (bottom graph) continue to indicate a strong trend toward El Nino conditions developing and continuing through the upcoming winter. An El Nino watch remaines in effect, with forecasters (top image) predicting around a 70% chance of El nino conditions developing this summer and around 80% by the fall. The bottom image is a plot of the average probabiliies of all the long rnage model forecasts.
2. Below is an animation of the weekly U.S. Drought monitor for 2014 (through June) across the United States. Note how the drought worsens over New Mexico through most of May before improving a little in late may and much of June.
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated by early August, 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 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: