Experts: Southwestern US sees some drought relief
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Drought conditions in much of the southwestern United States have improved because of surges of moisture over the last few months.
Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and others provided a briefing on the current conditions in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah as parts of California and the Pacific Northwest were blasted by another round of snow and rain.
The situation further inland has been less extreme, but the extra precipitation in southwestern Arizona has spurred some concerns that the upcoming harvest season could be interrupted.
“Snowpack is not a guarantee of what your available water supplies will be,” said Becky Bolinger with the Colorado Climate Center.
Many reservoirs in the four states are starting off the year low.
Federal data show the Salt River system in Arizona is at about 50 percent capacity, while the largest reservoir in New Mexico has dipped into the single digits.
Water restrictions still remain in place in northwestern New Mexico’s San Juan County.
Dust from White Sands National Monument in the south is being carried by the wind to Texas, more than 200 miles away.
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