SW drought abating but exceptional drought spots remain

SW drought abating but exceptional drought spots remain

Areas considered in moderate to exceptional drought are beginning to diminish across  the Southwest

New Mexico’s latest drought monitor map features a thin sliver of red in the northeast corner of the state, indicating the only place in the state still considered in extreme drought. About 17 percent of the sate appears drought free, with significant areas across the state in abnormally dry status with a similar amount fairly equally divided between moderate and severe drought status.

Almost 63 percent of the state is considered in moderate to extreme drought status but only 28 percent is categorized in severe to extreme drought and that one slim sliver represents about 1.5 percent of the state.

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Nearly one-fourth of Oklahoma—a band on the eastern edge of the state—is considered drought-free, but the state gets drier to the west. A narrow band of abnormally dry extending just into the center of the state gives way to a mixture of moderate to severe drought and occasional patches of extreme and exceptional drought. The driest area remains the Southwest corner of the state, where several counties bordering the Texas state line have been tagged in exceptional drought for much of the past three years. A similar sized band borders that area to the north.

Another small spot of exceptional drought shows up where the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles meet. That small dot is surrounded by an area of extreme drought that covers most of two and parts of six counties. Another section of extreme drought covers most of the county located in the center of the Oklahoma Panhandle and extends to the two counties to the east and west. Just over 64 percent of the state remains in moderate to exceptional drought status.

In Texas, a spot of exceptional drought corresponds with the area of Southwest Oklahoma but has diminished over recent weeks to cover most of two counties bordering Oklahoma and parts of six others. A similar sized area to the south and east is also considered in exceptional drought. Both of these areas are surrounded by larger spots in extreme drought status.

Across the rest of the state, only a few small areas remain in extreme drought and the number of counties considered in severe drought has diminished following recent rainfall. Most of the state is now rated abnormally dry to drought free. Only 44 percent of the state remains in moderate to exceptional drought status.

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