Weather Service Report


647 
AXUS75 KABQ 190200
DGTABQ
NMC001>011-019-021-027-028-031-033-037>049-053>061-252359-

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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Western Regional Climate Center, wrcc@dri.edu