Despite monsoon rains, new report shows little improvement in New Mexico’s drought conditions

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A new report from the Climate Prediction Center shows things may not get better for New Mexico.

The Climate Prediction Center released a drought projection forecast showing no significant change in New Mexico through the end of January.

“Quite a bit more positive than what we were looking at last year. We had a really good strong October in terms of rainfall,” said Andrew Mangham. 

Andrew Mangham is the hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

KOB 4 asked Mangham about the drought condition:

Brandon Richards: “The climate center’s forecast through January 31st that shows drought conditions not worsening, not getting really getting better, but not worsening. Can you explain the reason why that is?”

“We are coming off one of the wettest monsoon seasons in the past 130 years,” he replied. “Overall, our short term drought conditions are pretty good, and there is a bit of a bank to draw on even as we head into a dry winter.”

Because of all the rain, the drought conditions drastically improved, but Mangham says not so fast.

“These outlooks like this are sort of short term drought effects, the long term drought is still very much with us,” he said. “This is not to say drought conditions will not get worse by the time we are done with winter, but we are expecting at least to slow down the worsening because of the good bank of water we’ve built up.”

And if the start of fall is foreshadowing of what winter can be, the drought will hopefully continue to improve before fire season.