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Monsoon rains help, but San Juan County, N.M., remains in drought

Above-average precipitation needed through fall, winter
These two maps show the drought conditions between the week of July 6 and July 13. Conditions in San Juan County have not improved, however relief could be in sight with coming monsoons.

FARMINGTON – A majority of San Juan County remains in exceptional drought status, which is the worst degree of drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and meteorologists don’t anticipate too much relief in the near future.

Last week, parts of eastern New Mexico experienced drought relief and were reclassified to lower levels of drought as a result of a “robust Southwest monsoon,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. For San Juan County, however, not much has changed.

Clay Anderson with the National Weather Service said Farmington and surrounding areas will have “chances” for showers and storms every day going into the monsoon season, however long-term effects won’t be seen for at least another month.

“Drought improvement from monsoon-related rainfall will take a while and shouldn't be expected through the month of July,” Anderson said. “It is possible for some improvement by August, but getting out of this drought will take above-normal precipitation for some time, including through the winter months.”

This weekend, Anderson said an upper high will limit coverage and rainfall amounts into next week.

“However, the upper high will relocate to over the central Rockies around the middle of next week,” Anderson said. “As the upper high relocates to our north, moisture will trend up across the Four Corners region and result in improved coverage of showers and storms and greater rainfall amounts.”

Anderson said the county could potentially move down to a D3, or extreme drought status, from a D4 or exceptional drought status, in August, but that it is “probably best to plan for no improvement.”


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