New Mexico mountain basins drying out

Posted at: 01/08/2014 5:43 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A few weeks ago, many of the mountain ranges in New Mexico were packed with snow and happy skiers.

As time goes on, they're looking dry. Very dry.

"It's really been since mid-December since we had our last widespread snow event," said Kerry Jones of the National Weather Service.

Much of New Mexico's mountain ranges have below average snow-pack, including the Jemez, Sangre de Cristos, and the Sandias.

It's the same system that has kept much of the west parched, especially California.

How does the future look? Drier still with below average precipitation and above average temperatures.

A lack of snow means a lack of runoff for area rivers, which is one of New Mexico's precious resources.

"We had our record setting September rain event and we've been saying all along that we need to follow that up with a good winter and build up that snow-pack," Jones said.

According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the last time the majority of the mountain basins had an above average winter snow-pack other than earlier this winter was February of 2012.