Winter moisture a must to help ease NM drought

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Nearly all of New Mexico continues to grapple with some level of drought, and federal forecasting models show those conditions are likely to persist through January.

State and federal officials reported during a drought monitoring meeting Thursday that there has been only one day of rain so far this month in the eastern half of New Mexico.

Those totals ranged from a half-inch to just over an inch of rain, not enough to catch up after back-to-back dry years.

Tucumcari, Portales and other areas have deficits of several inches, while the state overall has seen only 63 percent of its normal precipitation through September.

Water managers say without any significant moisture this fall and winter, there will be less water in the Pecos and Rio Grande for irrigation next year.