Spotty rainfall received

Spotty rainfall did little to lessen the prolonged drought conditions that have had a stronghold on much of the New Mexico for several months, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Mountain Regional Field Office, New Mexico, for the week ending June 24. While any moisture received is welcomed, an above average monsoon season is needed to reverse the effects of the dryness that continues to plague the state. The United States Drought Monitor released on June 21 categorized exceptional drought (D4) across 18.0 percent of New Mexico, a slight improvement compared with last week. Severe to extreme drought (D2-D3) was now reportedly covering 73.2 percent of the state. Overall, conditions rated abnormally dry or worse blanketed 98.6 percent of New Mexico, with expansion of an area along the southern border with Texas into drought-free classification. Topsoil moisture levels were reported as 13 percent adequate to surplus, compared with 30 percent last week, 37 percent last year, and a 5-year average of 30 percent. Late reports indicated that some areas were hit with damaging hail as a result of last week’s storm systems. Comments from Rio Arriba and Taos Counties noted that several producers filed Notices of Loss during the week; however, specific crops were not mentioned. Several wildfires, most of which were triggered by lightening, were still burning across the state. Precipitation was recorded at just 8 out of 44 reporting weather stations, with Clayton, at 0.47 inch, reporting the largest accumulation during the week. Average temperatures ranged from 10 degrees below to 10 degrees above normal.