San Juan County, #NewMexico falls back into severe #drought status after hot, dry summer — The Farmington Daily Times

West Drought Monitor November 5, 2019.

From The Farmington Daily Times (Mike Easterling):

  • The Four Corners region is locked in a severe drought, making it one of the driest parts of the United States.
  • San Juan County is once again the driest part of New Mexico.
  • A National Weather Service meteorologist said conditions could improve later this month.
  • The moisture-packed start to the year that culminated with a late-season snowstorm on May 20 is now a distant memory, with San Juan County now firmly locked in severe drought status again, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

    An exceptionally dry summer was the culprit, according to Brian Guyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

    “As we went through the summer, the monsoon flow never really impacted the Four Corners region at all,” he said.

    San Juan County is part of an area that includes most of southwest Colorado, southeast Utah and almost all of northern Arizona that has been classified as suffering from severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor map. That makes the region one of the driest parts of the country.

    Only a handful of isolated patches of central and south Texas are in worse shape in the United States, with those areas having been designated as being in extreme drought — just one step above the worse classification of exceptional drought…

    As of Nov. 7, [total precipitation] stood at 6.23 inches, meaning [Farmington] has received only about three-quarters of an inch of moisture over the last five months. The normal year-to-date precipitation for Farmington on Nov. 7 is 9.37 inches, meaning the city is running more than 3 inches below normal…

    The monsoon season was beyond disappointing. Farmington received only 0.13 inches of precipitation in June, July and August, a fraction of what it normally receives during what historically is one of the wettest periods of the year…

    Those dry conditions were alleviated only marginally by the start of fall, as the city drew 0.39 inches in September and 0.17 inches in October…

    Moderate drought or abnormally dry conditions have been designated for most of the rest of New Mexico, with only the southwest corner escaping any negative status. But Guyer said the Four Corners is experiencing the driest conditions by far.

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