ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Drought in New Mexico – and across much of the western half of the continental United States – is expected to persist or worsen through the end of 2012, according to a new forecast out this morning from the federal Climate Prediction Center;
The hope had been for a strong El Niño, a climate pattern driven by warmer temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, to bail us out. But today’s forecast suggests El Niño has been sluggish in developing, and looks now like it will only be a weak one. (CPC has a more technical discussion here.) That means a forecast through New Mexico’s crucial winter snowpack-building months that only shows even odds of wet weather. The only hopeful bit in the forecast is CPC’s map for the spring, which does tip the odds toward wetter weather for much of New Mexico after Jan. 1.