Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
800 PM MDT TUE SEP 18 2018

...15 PERCENT OF THE STATE IN EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT...
...17 PERCENT OF THE STATE IN EXTREME DROUGHT...
...28 PERCENT OF THE STATE IN SEVERE DROUGHT...
...34 PERCENT OF THE STATE IN MODERATE DROUGHT...
...6 PERCENT OF THE STATE IN ABNORMALLY DRY...
...1 PERCENT OF THE STATE IN NO DROUGHT/ABNORMALLY DRY...

SYNOPSIS...

Predominately dry conditions have continued over New Mexico for much
of 2018, and going back to November 1, 2017. In fact, the past ten
months (November 2017 through August 2018) has been the 3rd driest
on record (compared to all the other same 10 month periods). The
actual precipitation compared to normal since November 1, 2017 was
at just 63 percent. As a result, 93 percent of the state remains in
some category of drought. Extreme to exceptional drought has
lessened some thanks to the summer monsoon season, but still remains
at 32 percent of the state. Moderate to severe drought encompasses
62 percent of New Mexico.

For the 2018 year to date, January through August, precipitation has
averaged 70 percent of normal statewide, with all climate divisions
below to well below normal. In general, precipitation in the east
has been the closest to normal, with conditions deteriorating the
farther west you go.

The US Drought Monitor is a multi-agency, national analysis of
drought conditions that is produced weekly by the National Drought
Mitigation Center. The Drought Monitor is coordinated with over 400
local experts nationwide on local conditions to provide an accurate
analysis of conditions on a local and state level. The Drought
Monitor is released weekly on Thursday morning using data through
early Tuesday morning.

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

Currently, the primary impacts reported from the drought are in the
agricultural sectors. Reports from the USDA National Agricultural
Statistics Service (NASS) indicate that livestock issues are
continuing as feed supplies from the 2017 production are dwindling
while forage is very limited due to the dry conditions. NASS reports
than many livestock producers continue to reduce herd size due to
concerns on the availability of feed.

Fire concerns have diminished during the monsoon season, but we
continue to get small wildfires this summer. There have been several
significant wildfires in New Mexico earlier this year, including the
Stateline Fire in Union County, the Blue Water and Diener Canyon
Fires west of Grants, the Buzzard Fire in the Gila National Forest,
and the Ute Park Fire between Ute Park and Cimarron.

Fire bans and restrictions continue over much of western and
portions of central New Mexico, as well as in Roosevelt County.
Please check with Local, State, or Federal agencies for current burn
restrictions. Below are some potential sources of information on
current fire restrictions:

http://firerestrictions.us/nm

https://nmfireinfo.com/
http://wwwapps.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/ParksReportingPublicDisplay/
Restriction

https://www.blm.gov/programs/public-safety-and-fire/fire-and-
aviation/ regional-info/new-mexico/fire-restrictions

At this time, there are no known water restrictions due to the
recent dry conditions.

CLIMATE SUMMARY...

The current climate pattern is representative of Neutral Conditions.
Most models continue to show El Nino conditions developing this fall
and winter.

The ONI (Oceanic Nino Index) is a three month running average of the
SST anomalies in the Nino 3.4 region of the Pacific Ocean and is
used to categorize if El Nino or La Nina conditions exist. The
NWS/Climate Prediction Center uses an operational definition for El
Nino or La Nina which looks at the ONI along with consistent
atmospheric conditions. Additionally, these conditions must be
expected to continue for at least the next three consecutive months.

Further information on El Nino and La Nina can be found below:

https://www.climate.gov/enso

http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/MJO/enso.shtml

PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOKS...

The current seasonal temperature and precipitation outlooks were
issued by the NWS/Climate Prediction Center on August 16. The
September 2018 outlook for most of New Mexico indicates odds
favoring above normal precipitation, especially in the Southeast.

Looking out further for the Fall (September-November) time period,
the outlook continues to show NM with increased likelihood of above
normal precipitation for most of the state, except equal chances of
above/normal/below normal precipitation in the far east.

Finally, the seasonal drought outlook through November indicates
that drought is expected to persist over much of the state, but may
improve. Parts of southern New Mexico may be removed from drought.

HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

As of September 1, reservoir storage was only at 19 percent of
capacity, while average capacity for September 1 is 44 percent.

*  Long term averages for reservoirs use data from the 1981-2010
   period. During this time, reservoirs along the Rio Grande had
   higher storage values due to a wetter period that impacted the
   first half of the 30 year period. Therefore, the 30-year average
   is statistically skewed to a higher value and may not be
   reflective of reservoir storage trends for the previous 15 years.

NEXT ISSUANCE DATE... This statement will be updated in mid to
late October 2018 unless conditions significantly change.

More frequent updates to the current drought situation can be found
on the NWS Albuquerque YouTube channel at
http://www.youtube.com/NWSAlbuquerque

RELATED WEB SITES...

Additional information on current or past drought conditions may
be found at the following web addresses:

US Drought Monitor
http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

NWS Precipitation Analysis Page
http://water.weather.gov/precip/index.php

New Mexico Climate Center
https://weather.nmsu.edu/

Western Regional Climate Center
http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/index.html

NWS/Climate Prediction Center
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

Additional hydrologic information:

NWS Advanced Hydrological Prediction Service
http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=abq

US Geological Survey- NM Water Science Center
https://nm.water.usgs.gov/infodata/waterwatch.html

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...

The US Drought Monitor is a multi-agency effort involving
NOAA/National Weather Service, the NOAA/National Center for
Environmental Information, the US Department of Agriculture,
State and Regional Climate Centers, and the National Drought
Mitigation Center.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

If you have any questions or comments about this drought
information statement, please contact:

Royce Fontenot
Senior Service Hydrologist
National Weather Service
2341 Clark Carr Loop SE
Albuquerque NM 87106
505-244-9150 x228
royce.fontenot@noaa.gov

$$

Fontenot/Jones



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