Widespread rain received

Following over a month with little to no moisture, beneficial, widespread rain fell across many areas during the week ending May 27, with several locations noting that total accumulations were above average, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, New Mexico. Even with the uptick in rainfall, a significant amount of additional moisture is needed to erase the prolonged drought conditions entrenched in the state. The United States Drought Monitor released on May 24 showed that exceptional drought (D4) remained rooted on over 20.3 percent of the State. In addition, severe to extreme drought (D2-D3) was reportedly covering 70.0 percent of the State. Overall, conditions rated abnormally dry or worse continued to blanket 100 percent of New Mexico. Topsoil moisture levels were reported as 24 percent adequate to surplus, compared with 15 percent last week, 38 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 33 percent. Pasture and range condition was reported as 6 percent good to excellent, compared with 5 percent last week, 31 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 24 percent. Spring fieldwork was in full swing, with row crops being planted and alfalfa hay and onions being harvested. Precipitation was recorded at 33 out of 44 reporting weather stations, with Tucumcari, at 1.96 inches, reporting the largest accumulation during the week. In addition, 10 other weather stations reported rainfall totaling over an inch during the week, while above average moisture was record at 22 of the 33 stations.