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Published May 22, 2013
New Mexico Drought Status(data through 5/14/13)
Data Source(s): New Mexico State Drought Monitoring Committee, U.S. Drought Monitor
Warm and dry conditions over the past 30 days yielded little precipitation, leading to continued deterioration of both short- and long-term drought conditions. Exceptional drought, the most extreme drought category, covers about 44 percent of New Mexico (Figures 5a–b). Exceptional drought is defined as a drought that occurs, on average, once in every 50 years. About another 38 percent of the state is classified with extreme drought. Precipitation totals over the past six months have only been about 25 percent of average for most of the state.
Current drought conditions are impacting agricultural activities across the state. Water releases from the Elephant Butte Reservoir will likely be the lowest on record (El Paso Times, May 6). The water releases to farmers growing pecans and vegetables will be too small to meet irrigation needs and will require farmers to pump groundwater. Groundwater pumping is an expensive alternative to river water and may force some farms out of business, particularly the smaller ones.Notes:
The New Mexico section of the U.S. Drought Monitor is released weekly (every Thursday) and represents data collected through the previous Tuesday. The maps are based on expert assessment of variables including (but not limited to) the Palmer Drought Severity Index, soil moisture, streamflow, precipitation, and measures of vegetation stress, as well as reports of drought impacts. It is a joint effort of several agencies.
This summary contains substantial contributions from the New Mexico Drought Working Group.
For the most current drought status map, visit:
For the most current Drought Status Reports, visit:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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