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NM Drought Conditions Expand

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — All of New Mexico is now abnormally dry or in drought, according to today’s updated federal drought monitor.


4/7/2011 NM Drought MonitorThis week’s map swallowed up the last corner of the state that had been in normal condition, coloring northwest New Mexico “abnormally dry”. (The map was made Tuesday, so it doesn’t include updates based on the latest rainstorm, such as it was.)

As I reported in this morning’s paper, the latest runoff forecast calls for just 33 percent of normal flow into Elephant Butte Reservoir:


An already dismal forecast for spring runoff in New Mexico’s rivers has gotten worse, after a dry, windy March sapped the state’s snowpack.

Spring and summer flow on the Rio Grande into Elephant Butte, the river’s largest water storage reservoir, is forecast to be just 33 percent of normal this year, federal forecasters said Wednesday afternoon. That is down from a forecast of 52 percent one month ago.

The steep decline came after a March that combined a near complete lack of precipitation with warm, dry winds that blew away some of the snow before it had a chance to melt, said Ed Polasko at the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque office.


The full forecast from Wane Sleep at the NRCS is now up if you want to check your local river basin.

If there’s a silver lining, today’s update from the Climate Predicition Center shows La Niña, which is behind the dry weather, fading. But perhpas not soon enough:


Potential impacts in the United States include an enhanced chance for below-average precipitation across much of the South.


“South” includes us.





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