FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — It's shaping up to be a difficult year for farmers in the American Southwest.
Snowpack and precipitation were below average during the winter.
That's continued drought conditions across the western half of the country.
#ICYMI, the Drought Monitor was posted. Shucks, we know you didn’t miss it. It’s usually one of our most popular posts! But, just in case you did, it’s still dry out west. And North Dakota. And South Dakota. Where else? Find out: https://t.co/nsGVUQNXD6 pic.twitter.com/pX3YBlh8KY
— NOAA NCEI Climate (@NOAANCEIclimate) April 3, 2021
It's also the largest area of severe, extreme and exceptional drought conditions since 2012-2013.
Slight improvement in U.S. (Lower 48) drought coverage, but much of the West remains mired in a prolonged period of minimal precipitation. This is the country's largest spatial coverage of Severe / Extreme / Exceptional drought conditions since 2012/13. pic.twitter.com/xfvR9jzyuw
— Steve Bowen (@SteveBowenWx) April 1, 2021
Some are saying that conditions haven't been this bad since the 1950s.
As several states in the American West face intense drought, it's shaping up to be a very difficult year for New Mexico farmers because of limited #irrigation supplies, with some saying conditions haven't been this dire since the 1950s.https://t.co/Df0TpL8Fot pic.twitter.com/zLsX8IYYDN
— DTN Markets (@DTNMarkets) April 4, 2021
55% of Arizona and 54% of New Mexico are in an exceptional drought.
Over 80% of both states are in extreme or exceptional drought.
A year ago, New Mexico did not have extreme or exceptional drought in the state.
Our neighbor New Mexico with 80% in extreme or exceptional drought. 54% exceptional category. pic.twitter.com/AAqEUhwDUT
— Jim Cross (@Crossfire923) April 1, 2021
Reservoir levels are below normal in both states.
In New Mexico, less than 20% of reservoir water is available for use.
That will lead to limited irrigation supplies for the growing season.
The city of Albuquerque has placed water restrictions on its residents.
Water restrictions are back.https://t.co/oymUlnnNes
— Menaul Book Exchange (@MenaulBooks) April 2, 2021
The Rio Grande has the potential to run dry, but officials do not have extra water to use like they have in previous years.