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New Mexico’s drought worst in the country

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico this morning rose to the top of one of those lists of US states that you don’t want to be on. Drought conditions here are now the worst in the nation, according to this morning’s federal Drought Monitor:

The analysts who develop the weekly monitor significantly expanded their designation of “exceptional” drought, their worst category, to include much of the Rio Grande Valley, the state’s most populous region:

In New Mexico, the past 36 months (Apr 2010 РMar 2013) have been the 4th driest period on record for the state, the driest since the 1950s. Exceptional Drought (D4) was expanded to include much of New Mexico’s Rio Grande Valley as well as portions of east-central and northeastern New Mexico.

With a quarter of the state now in “exceptional” drought and 82 percent in “extreme” condition or worse (the worst two categories), we just edged out Nebraska on a list you don’t really want to be atop.