As monsoon season lags, drought conditions expected to worsen in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The abundance of water in the Rio Grande didn’t last very long.

“Because of this dry monsoon we’ve been having, we’re already creeping back into drought,” said Michael Anand, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

After several weeks with temperatures above 100 degrees, drought conditions are expected to get worse.

“Normally, July is our wettest month of the year,” Anand said. “That’s when the monsoon really peaks.”

Instead, it’s been a record hot and dry July.

“So parts of the region, basically this stretch from Farmington to down here in Albuquerque, are now under moderate drought conditions,” Anand said. “We’re expecting drought conditions to worsen because of how dry it’s been, for these next few weeks and into the late summer period.”

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service are predicting that August will also be one of the driest on record.

“We’re not really seeing any signals of really good precipitation until mid-September,” Anand said. “Once we get into the fall and winter months, that’s when we’ll really start to see the effects of El Niño with above-average precipitation.”

So the state may get snow, instead of rain.

“We can see much better precipitation come wintertime, much good snowpack in our northern mountains and western mountains,” Anand said. “Much better rain chances down in the valleys as well, so the winter months are looking pretty good here.”