...Drought Holding Fairly Steady with Some Improvement Northeast and Northwest...
...Just Under 62% of the State is Still in Moderate to Severe Drought...
...Nearly 18% of the State is Classified as Severe Drought...
The current and past U.S. Drought Monitor map depictions of drought for New Mexico can be found at:
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. The first three weeks of March delivered several snow events, producing above normal precipitation from the north central mountains southward into southern New Mexico. The northeastern plains and the northwest plateau have not faired as well with the bulk of the wetting precipitation events missing the area.
For previous months and years (back to 2002) click here. Make sure you click the circle by "Precipitation Summary".
October 2014 - February 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 April 2015 favors above normal precipitation over nearly all of the state. The outlook from April through June 2015 strongly favors above normal precipitation across all of New Mexico.
The seasonal outlook below indicates drought will continue or worsen over parts of New Mexico. Some improvment may occur over small portions of northern 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 24 percent of capacity as of March 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 continuing through the summer. An El Nino advisory is now 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. There has been only minor changes across New Mexico since the start of 2015, with one category of improvement over parts of the northwest and northeast while moderate drought has returned to north central and central areas.
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated in late 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.
If you have any questions or comments about this drought information statement, please contact:
National Weather Service
or by e-mail to: