Driest, warmest 24 months in New Mexico history

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The past 24 months, ending in August, have been the warmest and the driest in New Mexico history, with records going back to 1895.

That was the starkest of a litany of stark pronouncements at this morning’s meeting of the New Mexico Drought Monitoring Working Group, a monthly gathering of state and federal worker bees who monitor the state’s weather and water, along with its impact on New Mexico. A couple of high points (low points?): dryland farmers on the east side aren’t bothering to plant winter wheat, because soil moisture is too low, and the state’s northern reservoirs are for the most part drained.

The only bright spot is the forecast for an El Niño this winter, which tips the odds toward wetter weather. “Hopefully El Niño will produce something for us and give us some relief,” said Raymond Abeyta of the US Bureau of Reclamation, the federal agency that oversees a lot of the irrigation water systems in the state.

With the help of Dave DuBois at New Mexico state, here are the graphs showing those truly stark 24-month numbers:

24-month temperatures, New Mexico

24-month temperatures, New Mexico, courtesy National Climatic Data Center

I’ll have more in tomorrow’s paper.


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