Dismal monsoon season raises fears that New Mexico will slip back into drought

Driving through New Mexico's high desert
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August 7, 2023 — New Mexico’s KOB4 reports that the Rio Grande’s recent healthy flow was short-lived, as dry monsoon conditions are causing the area to slip back into a drought. Michael Anand, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, told the station that there are rising concerns about the drought due to the ongoing dry spell.

Record High Temperatures and Dry July.

After experiencing several weeks of temperatures over 100 degrees, the drought situation in the Rio Grande region is anticipated to worsenOpens in a new tab.. July is typically the wettest month in this area, marking the peak of the monsoon season. This year has seen an exceptionally hot and dry July. The affected region, stretching from Farmington down to Albuquerque, is now under moderate drought conditions. Meteorologists are warning that these conditions are likely to intensify in the coming weeks and extend into late summer.

August Forecast: One of the Driest on Record.

Predictions from the National Weather Service suggest that the dry conditions will persist, and that August is projected to be one of the driest months on record. Signs of substantial rainfall are not expected until mid-September.

Hopeful Winter Ahead with El Niño.

Despite the dry summer and looming drought, the latter part of the year may bring relief. Meteorologists anticipate that the effects of El Niño will lead to above-average precipitationOpens in a new tab. during the fall and winter months.

The state might receive more snow instead of rain, which would be a welcome change. Better precipitation, including a healthy snowpack in the northern and western mountains and improved rain chances in the valleys, is expected during the winter months.


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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