New Mexico’s 2023 rainfall well below average

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Forest Service meteorologists are calling this monsoon season a “nonsoon” because many parts of New Mexico are not getting even close to as much rain as we usually get this time of year. 

“We are way below average pretty much across the board,” said Kerry Jones a U.S. Forest Service meteorologist.  

And it’s obvious when you look at the Rio Grande. The sandbars and shores are more apparent than they were just a few weeks ago.

“It’s the driest start to a monsoon season in Albuquerque since records began and that was the 1800s, and it’s not just Albuquerque,” said Jones.  

In the last 40 days, Jones says the Forest Service’s high elevation recording stations in the northern and western parts of the state haven’t indicated any measurable rainfall. 

“There are areas in that part of the state that haven’t measured more than a tenth of an inch of rainfall. I mentioned Taos earlier, but they are less than a quarter inch since the middle of June which doesn’t go even far, and there are probably areas that are even dryer,” Jones said. 

That lack of rain is keeping temperatures statewide dangerously high. 

National Forest Service reps are calling our situation a “nonsoon.”

“It’s a lack of rainfall and not the consistent, steady day after day rainfall we are accustomed to this time of year where we get our cloud cover, and our daily crop of rain and thunderstorms, and you are right that has been largely absent,” said Jones.

By now, pretty much all of the snow pack in the mountains is gone. Jones warns those who are out hiking or camping in our forests have to be extra careful not to start a fire.

“I think it’s just being smart being fire wise, being super careful not just with your self or immediate party, but if you see something say something. If you are out and about in terms of reckless behavior,” said Jones.  

Jones isn’t too confident any serious relief is coming anytime soon. 

“Even if we were to say in the middle or late part of August get into a ‘normal pattern’ the chances are that we will make us the precipitation deficit that we have accumulated so far is very low,” said Jones.