...Drought Lessening its Grip on New Mexico...
...37% of the State is Still in Moderate to Severe Drought...
...Close to 13% of the State is Classified as in Severe Drought...
The current and past U.S. Drought Monitor map depictions of drought for New Mexico can be found at:
January - April 2015. Precipitation has been near to above normal statewide so far this year for most of New Mexico. However, snowpack and spring snowmelt/runoff started early and is well below normal for the 5th year in a row. The well above normal temperatures this year has been the major culprit for the receeding snowpack this Spring.
January 2015. The start of the 2015 Calendar Year was wet and white, with above normal precipitation nearly statewide. As a whole, the state averaged 180 percent of normal! Unfortunately, the heaviest precipitation fell away from the northern mountains where we need it the most. But overall, it was still a good start to the new year.
February 2015. Precipitation was below to well below normal for much of New Mexico through the first three weeks of February. But the final week of the month was exceptionally active with widespread snow, some of it heavy. While the southwest remained below normal, the northeast was above to well above normal. By the end of the month snowpack hovered slightly above normal in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and just slightly below normal in the San Juan and Jemez Mountains
March 2015. Above normal precipitation was the rule for much of central and southern New Mexico. The Northeast Plains and the Northwest Plateau did not faired as well with the bulk of the wetting precipitation events missing these areas.
April 2015. Dry, windy and warm conditions dominated the first 10 days April. A couple of showers skirted across portions of southern New Mexico otherwise it was precipitation free across the Land of Enchantment. Then an impressive rain event unfolded across the southeast third of the state on the 12th and 13th. Numerous one to two inch rainfall amounts were reported across Lincoln, Chaves and Roosevelt counties. A minor to moderate snow event helped bring some precipitation to the north on the 18th. A welcome, widespread rain and high northern mountain snow event impacted the state from the 26th into the 28th.
May 2015. The first three weeks of May have produced well above precipitation over most of New Mexico so far, thanks to potent storm systems on the 4th-6th, 12th-13th, 17th-18th and 21st.
For previous months and years (back to 2002) click here. Make sure you click the circle by "Precipitation Summary".
October 2014 - March 2015. Average precipitation through the first five months of the 2015 Water Year was 111% of normal. The eastern plains and central valleys have generally done the best while the northwest has fared the worst.
The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation during June 2015 strongly favors above normal precipitation over most of the state. The outlook from June through August 2015 also favors above normal precipitation across virtually all of New Mexico, and especially in the northeast half of the state.
The seasonal outlook below indicates remaining drought in New Mexico will improve or be removed over the west.
US Seasonal Drought Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center
(click map to enlarge)
Reservoir storage is below capacity at nearly all lakes across the state. Average statewide reservoir storage was only 29 percent of capacity as of May 1, 2015. 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.
New Mexico Water Watch from the USGS
(click map to enlarge image)
1. CPC (Climate Prediction Center) forecasters (top graphic) and models (lower graphic) indicate El Nino conditions will continue through the summer and probably through all of 2015. An El Nino advisory is now in effect.
2. Below is an animation of the weekly U.S. Drought monitor for the past 6 weeks across the United States. There has been slow, but steady improvement over much of New Mexico, with only the west holding on to moderate to severe drought conditions.
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated in late May, 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.
If you have any questions or comments about this drought information statement, please contact:
National Weather Service
or by e-mail to: