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New Mexico playing catch-up as it heads into winter

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Forecasters with the National Weather Service say recent snowfall in New Mexico’s higher elevations is helping as the state tries to recover from an extraordinarily dry October.

Forecasters say precipitation from January through October was nearly two inches below normal and several locations around the state saw record or near-record warm temperatures.

Hydrologist Royce Fontenot said during a drought monitoring meeting Tuesday that the early winter forecast calls for more dry and warm weather, but storms that crossed over the state in November offered some respite.

Fontenot pointed to improved snowpack in New Mexico’s northern mountains and southern Colorado.

The most recent drought maps show abnormally dry conditions across most of the northern half of the state and in some pockets along the Rio Grande Valley and in the bootheel region.