Monsoon season alleviating drought conditions in areas of the state

Posted at: 08/22/2014 4:27 PM
Updated at: 08/22/2014 6:09 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4

It's been a great monsoon season so far in New Mexico. Today's light rain has helped make a dent in the state's drought, so much so that the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that parts of New Mexico are drought-free.

That includes much of Chaves County, parts of Lea County and the Sacramento Mountains. All those areas were in some form of drought at the beginning of the season, including the Sacramentos.

The areas were under an extreme drought back in mid-June. The last time this area was drought-free was in the beginning of 2009, more than five years ago.

The Climate Prediction Center has issued its seasonal outlook through the fall, and it's showing a big improvement in New Mexico's drought. Many areas of the state are expected to have improving drought conditions or be drought-free by November.

One major factor that goes into the outlook is "El Nino". When there are warmer than average sea-surface temperatures in the Eastern Pacific, it means more rain and snow for New Mexico.