The drought monitor map tells the story:
Well, okay, it was dry to start with. But the AP says:
New Mexico is slipping further into drought, having marked the driest two-year period in nearly 120 years of record-keeping.
National weather forecasters and water managers shared the latest statistics on New Mexico’s devastatingly dry conditions during a meeting Tuesday. They say the last 12- and 24-month periods have eclipsed even those dry times of the early 20th century and the 1950s.
The Santa Fe New Mexican elaborates:
This week’s U.S. Drought Monitor shows a swath of red and dark red across New Mexico, indicating extreme and exceptional drought conditions. The ominous colors stretch up through the Midwest, showing conditions have also worsened over the past year in parts of Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
“These kinds of conditions will certainly persist for a while,” said Tim Shy, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque. “Even if we do get repeated rains over a long period of time, for them to crack the threshold and get us back out of the deep brown color is going to be pretty difficult indeed.”
New Mexico is in its third year of drought. Following a winter with dismal snowpack, little spring rain and windy conditions have combined to leave the state’s reservoirs at record lows. Parts of the Rio Grande have dried up in Southern New Mexico, and many communities have rain deficits of a few inches just since the start of the year.
Farmers in Southern New Mexico are being hit the hardest. With little to no irrigation water expected to come from the Rio Grande and Pecos River this growing season, they are again relying on groundwater wells.
Along the Rio Grande, the wells have been dropping and there are limited options for drilling deeper.