...Drought Conditions Continue to Lessen Across New Mexico...
Drought Removed From Portions of Chaves & Otero Counties...
...But Two-Thirds of the State is Still in Moderate to Extreme Drought...
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 will be the first month this year with above normal precipitation. This brought the yearly average statewide precipitation up to 80 percent of normal.
August 2014. August has followed July's lead, bringing significant rain to many areas. The exceptions have been in the northwest and east central plains.
July 2014. July delivered much needed rain to the state, especially to central and east central portions of New Mexico. This was the first month in 2014 with above normal precipitation, on the order of 140 percent of normal.
June 2014. June was quite a contrast in precipitation. The northwest and west central portions of the state were virtually dry. The east, on the other hand, has been wet, thanks to thunderstorms with heavy rain from the 5th through 8th. Thus the streaky nature to the precipitation departures shown below, as individual storms dropped copious amounts of rain. Precipitation departures are 300 to 400 percent or more above normal in several eastern areas. Central areas were mixed, but generally below normal.
October 2013 - July 2014. Average precipitation for the first ten months of the 2014 Water Year was 76% of normal. The Southern Deserts have received the least amount of precipitation, mostly in the 20 to 40 percent of normal range.
The official NOAA Climate Prediction Center outlook for New Mexico precipitation for September 2014 favors above normal precipitation over much of the state. The outlook from September through November 2014 also leans toward better chances of above normal precipitation compared to near or below normal precipitation.
The seasonal outlook below indicates drought will improve over much of New Mexico and may even be removed across portions of New Mexico.
US Seasonal Drought Outlook from the Climate Prediction Center
(click map to enlarge)
The current U.S. Drought Monitor map depiction of drought for New Mexico can be found at:
Reservoir storage is below capacity at nearly all lakes across the state. Water levels are lowest at Abiquiu, Cochiti, Caballo, Brantley, Elephant Butte and Sumner Lakes. Average statewide reservoir storage is only 22 percent of capacity. You can use the link below to see the current percent of storage capacity at all the major New Mexico dams:
All public lands, National Parks and Monuments, BLM lands, State Parks and tribal lands are open across New Mexico. There are numerous stage one fire restrictions, though. Click on the link below then select Fire News from the left hand menu.
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 graph) and models (bottom graph) continue to indicate the likelyhood of El Nino conditions developing this fall and continuing through the upcoming winter. An El Nino watch remaines in effect, with forecasters (top image - early August forecast) predicting around a 65% chance of El nino conditions developing this fall. The model forecasts will be isuued on August 21st.
2. Below is an animation of the weekly U.S. Drought monitor for 2014 (through June) across the United States. Note how the drought worsens over New Mexico through most of May before improving a little in late may and much of June.
External Links and Sites
This product will be updated in late August, 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 and automatically updating graphics, and the general 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: