40% Of New Mexico In Exceptional Drought

May 9, 2013

Major stretches of river have already gone dry, farmers are leaving their land fallow and cities are clamping down on water use, but things in New Mexico just went from bad to worse Thursday.

The latest drought map put together by federal forecasters shows New Mexico — the nation's fifth largest state — is in the worst shape of any state. Nearly 40 percent of New Mexico is grappling with exceptional drought.

In just a week, that percentage jump from nearly a quarter. A year ago, it was less than one-tenth.

A senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, Tim Shy, says getting enough consistent rain to break the spell is highly unlikely.

This week's U.S. Drought Monitor also shows conditions have worsened over the past year in parts of Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.