Fleck asks “Is the Drought Over?”

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John Fleck is still my go to guy for climate and weather stuff, and his article in yesterday’s Journal is a must read:

So is the drought over?

That was probably the most-asked question in New Mexico last week, as long-awaited rains hit the state with so much force that floodwaters damaged neighborhoods from Rio Rancho and Belen to Silver City and Sunland Park.

If your living room was flooded with muddy water, the answer to the drought question must have looked pretty obvious: what drought?

But to 50 of the nation’s top drought scientists meeting at a Santa Fe hotel last week, the answer appeared as blurred as the view out the rain-streaked hotel windows.

As an aside, I just want to mention the great use of imagery there — great writing John. Back to the story:

What has happened in New Mexico over the last month illustrates why drought questions are never simple.

If you look at the state’s greening hillsides, you’d think our drought had ended. But Elephant Butte Reservoir, the state’s largest, is still at just 10 percent of capacity, left dry by years of shortfalls that cannot be ameliorated by a single rainy month.

(italics mine)

Read the whole thing to get a take on what’s happening with water here in the Land of Enchantment.

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