Drought Conditions Holding Fairly Steady...
...Just over two-thirds of the State is Still in Moderate to Extreme Drought...
...26% of the State is Still in Severe to Extreme Drought...
The current and past U.S. Drought Monitor map depictions of drought for New Mexico can be found at:
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. December was above normal, but only by 0.07 inches.
Below is statewide precipitation totals and the departure from normal for 2014. Precipitation ended up being 95 percent of normal for the 2014 year.
For previous months and years (back to 2002) click here. Make sure you click the circle by "Precipitation Summary".
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 had been 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.
October 2014 - January 2015. Average precipitation through the 1st four months of the 2015 Water Year was 103% of normal.
The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation during March 2015 favors above normal precipitation over nearly all of the state. The outlook from March through May 2015 strongly favors above normal precipitation across all of New Mexico.
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 23 percent of capacity as of February 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 a decent chance of El Nino conditions continuing for the remainder of this winter into Spring. An El Nino watch remains 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 only minor changes across New Mexico since the start of 2015.
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated in early March, 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: