ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - N ew Mexico has suffered through two of the driest years on record, and a recent forecast from the Climate Prediction Center shows dry, warm weather sticking around for even longer.
"It's been brutal. The past two years are the driest and the warmest in the history of New Mexico," Clay Anderson, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, said.
And the forecast from the Climate Prediction Center isn't good. The latest U.S. Seasonal Drought Outlook predicts a warmer, drier spring than averaged.
"Everything they have to look at is telling them that we've got better chances for below normal precipitation across New Mexico for the next three months than we do anything else," Anderson said.
New Mexico's northeast and central plains are the worst off. Some portions are in an exception drought. Anderson says if the outlook holds true, it could mean another terrible year for ranchers and farmers, water shortages, and another devastating wildfire season.
Anderson says recent snowfall will only chip away at the substantial drought.
"The hope is with this system coming in over the next couple days and another system late next week, at least in a few spots, especially in the northern mountains, we might even briefly catch up to normal," Anderson said. "But even if we were to catch up to normal, that's good news for us, but we're still dealing with a very long term drought that's not going away."
National Weather Service forecasters say about half of New Mexico received only zero to 20 percent normal precipitation in October and November 2012.
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