Other Hydrologic Information | Special Hydrologic/Climate Features | Related Web Sites  


...Moderate Drought Across ~ 16% of New Mexico...

Current Drought Image for NM

The current and past U.S. Drought Monitor map depictions of drought can be found at:



2016 Calendar Year Precipitation

July 2016.  The first three weeks of July has been relatively quiet. However, large hail and damaging winds struck parts of Harding County, including around Solano, Mosquero and Logan on the 3rd.  Welcome rain finally fell over the east on the 14th and 15th. Some monsoon moisture made it into western and central portions of the state starting on the 17th and then continued through through the 23rd. A back door cold front on the 24th helped eastern areas to receive some rain and well. The final week of the month was quite active with widespread showers and thunderstorms, and isolated flash flooding. 


Percent of Average Precipitation

June 2016. The southeast half of NM fared the best, with the exception of the far southeast. Multiple rounds of locally heavy rainfall from thunderstorms across these areas of NM brought above normal precipitation for June. Northwest portions of the state largely missed out on the showers and storms. Statewide precipitation ended up just slightly below at 1.14 inches (normal is 1.17 inches).

January - May 2016. The first 5 months of 2016 has averaged 72 percent of normal. While there have been periods of above normal precipitation, most areas have been below normaL.

. Previous Months/Years:

For previous months of 2016 and 2015 as well as a recap of the 2015 year,  click here.

For previous months and years (2014 back to 2002)  click here.  Make sure you click the circle by "Precipitation Summary".


2016 Water Year Precipitation

October 2015 - May 2016.  The start of the 2016 Water Year was off to an excellent start until much drier conditions developed in early January. Unfortunately, February was even worse and March was downright abbysmal. Statewide precipitation for the October 2015 to March 2016 period averaged 126 percent of normal. It's been a roller coast ride though. The first three months of the water year, October through December, averaged 188 percent of normal (7th wettest on record) while January through March only averaged 44 percent of normal (11th driest on record)! April finally reversed the drying trend and ended up with 129 percent of normal, while May was 85 percent of normal. For the water year statewide precipitation was 120 percent of normal. 



graphic showing example of NOAA?NWS precipitation estimation

(click map to see current data)

current water year precipitation

Precipitation Estimates and departures from normal can be generated for a variety of time periods including the current day, archived days, the previous month and the calendar year to date.


October 2015 - May 2016

(click map to enlarge)


Long Range Precipitation/Drought Outlook 

The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation during July 2016 is pretty much equal chances of above, near or below normal, with a slight tilt toward above normal in the far northeast. The outlook from July through September 2016 is also equal chances of above, near or below normal precipitation. 

one month CPC precipitation outlook


three month CPC precipitation outlook

1 Month Precipitation CPC Outlooks

(click map to enlarge)

3 Month Precipitation CPC Outlooks

(click map to enlarge)

The seasonal outlook below indicates the moderate drought over western and southern New Mexico will likely be removed as we go through the summer. 


US Seasonal Drought Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center

Other Hydrologic Information

Reservoir storage is below capacity at all lakes across the state. Average statewide reservoir storage was 63 percent of capacity as of July 1, 2016.

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.

usgs graphic representing streamflow

  New Mexico Water Watch from the USGS  

 (click map to enlarge image)


Special Hydrologic/Climate Features 

1. CPC (Climate Prediction Center) forecasters (top graphic) and computer models (lower graphic) show neutral conditions are expected to transition to La Nina conditions by the end of the 2016 summer, with La Nina conditions for the 2016 fall and winter.  A La Nina watch remains in effect.

You can get more detailed information on the ENSO forecast from the following links:

2. Below is an animation of the weekly U.S. Drought monitor for the past 6 weeks across the United States. In New Mexico, abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought have remained about the same across the state.

6-week Animation

 Related Web Sites

Drought Indices

Drought Indices Explained
Crop Moisture Index
Palmer Drought Severity Index
Percent of Normal Precipitation
SPI (Standardized Precipitation Index)

    External Links and Sites  

New Mexico State Engineer Drought Task Force (updated)
Water Supply Forecast

Additional Information

New Mexico Precipitation Summaries
NDMC Climatology 
NDMC Paloeclimatology 
Western Region Climate Center

This product will be updated in late July, or as 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
2341 Clark Carr Loop SE
Albuquerque NM 87106

or by e-mail to:



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