...No Exceptional Drought In New Mexico...
...But Over Three Quarters Of The State Remains In Moderate To Extreme Drought...
January through October 2013 statewide precipitation was 98% of normal. The Central Valley has received 112% of normal precipitation while the the Central Highlands was at 89% of normal. The first 10 months of 2013 ranks as the 40th wettest (78th dries) on record.
December 2013. The month was dry through the 3rd but strong winds buffetted the state on the 3rd. Much colder air along with valley rain and snow, and mountain snow followed from the 4th through 6th.
November 2013. The northwest half of the state faired very well, with the mountains receiving good early season snowfall. The southeast half has not done as well, but is still mostly near normal for November.
Actual Precipitation: November 2013
October 2013. October saw much of the state experience below normal precipitation, with the notable exceptions in the northwest and north central mountains and far southeast.
Percent of Normal Precip: October 2013
September 2013. A historic month. Nearly the entire state received above normal to record-breaking precipitation.
Percent of Normal Precip: September 2013
October 2012 - September 2013. Statewide average precipitation for the 2013 Water Year was 93% of normal. The driest area was the Southeast Plains Division with 86% of normal. The wettest area was the Central Valley with 102%.
The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation for December 2013 is trended toward below normal precipitation in the east and equal chances of below normal, normal or above in the west. The winter outlook from December through February is leaning toward a drier than normal winter, especially across the south.
The seasonal outlook below indicates drought will develop again this winter over portions of western and southern New Mexico currently not in any drought status.
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 normal at nearly all lakes across the state, although summer rains and epic September rain have helped bring up storage levels some in most resevoirs. Water levels are lowest at Abiquiu, Cochiti, Caballo, Brantley, Elephant Butte, Conchas, Santa Rosa and Sumner Lakes. Average statewide reservoir storage is at 20 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 current and 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. For the 2013 Water Year (October 2012 - September 2013), average statewide precipitation ranked as the 68th driest (50th wettest) year on record. July and especially September helped erase major short term precipitation deficits.
Figure provided by the National Climatic Data Center
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated in mid 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 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: