...Moderate Drought Across ~ 16% of New Mexico...
The current and past U.S. Drought Monitor map depictions of drought can be found at:
June 2016. With June drawing to a close, portions of central and eastern NM have fared the best. Multiple rounds of locally heavy rainfall from thunderstorms across the eastern half of NM has brought above normal precipitation for June from the south central mountains to central highlands and eastern plains. Northwest portions of the state have largely missed out on showers and storms.
May 2016. May started out with a bang across northern and central NM. Widespread rain and mountain snow impacted the area, especially from the Continental Divide westward from the 1st to the 3rd. A couple more fast moving systems crossed northern NM with scattered showers and thunderstorms on the 6th and 7th then again from the 9th through the 12th. The next round of precipitation began on the 17th and continued into the 19th. This has left much of western NM with above normal precipitation for May, while central, eastern and far southern portions of the state have been near to below normal. Heavy rain along the far eastern plains on the 31st help to bring precipitation near to above normal in small pockets of the east.
January - May 2016. The first five months of 2016 have averaged 72 percent of normal. While there have been periods of above normal precipitation, most areas have been below normal with the exception of pockets along the Continental Divide.
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".
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.
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.
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
Reservoir storage is below capacity at all lakes across the state. Average statewide reservoir storage was only 31 percent of capacity as of May 1, 2016. Despite above normal precipitation in 2015 and a sharp reduction in short term drought conditions, it is readily apparent that long term, hydrological drought is still very much with us.
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 computer models (lower graphic) show neutral conditions are expected to La Nina conditions at the end of the 2016 summer, with La Nina conditions continuing for the 2016 fall and winter. An El Nino advisory remains in effect but will be dropped soon. A La Nina 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. In New Mexico, abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought across the state has diminished.
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated in mid to late June, 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
or by e-mail to: