NASA Scientists: Drought disappearing for the short term, not long term

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – NASA scientists are using state of the art technology to monitor the drought that has plagued the Southwest.

Short term, New Mexico is doing much better, but when it comes to long term, NASA has some troubling predictions.

A year ago, New Mexico was dangerously dry, but relentless rainfall has been a welcomed relief. Maps monitoring drought show a big difference from a year ago.

Doug Morton, a NASA earth scientist, said, “There will be different winners and losers in terms of rainfall in 2015.”

NASA has 20 satellites looking down on Earth watching the weather.

“Animation shows those areas that will experience longer or more frequent and severe drought conditions in colors of brown and red and so under a warming climate, the projections are for more severe or frequent droughts in particular across the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico,” said Morton, illustrating drought projections through the year 2095.

Clay Anderson, Senior Forecaster with National Weather Service in Albuquerque said, “In New Mexico, we’re seeing a lot of precipitation this monsoon season. It’s really starting to ratchet up right about now which is climatologically our wettest time of year, kind of the last week in July, first week in August, that’s when we get a lot of rain.”

He said a strong El Niño, with those warmer than average waters in the Pacific, will likely boost precipitation in New Mexico, particularly the southern part of the state.

“At this point, we can say with high confidence that El Niño will persist all the way through the winter months and more than likely through the spring months as well, so that’s a strong signal for us,” he said.

“I would anticipate that by the end of the monsoon season that most of the state, if not the entire state, will be completely out of the drought,” Anderson said.

While New Mexico has plenty of precipitation on the way in the short term, NASA said the drought in California is still so serious that the entire state needs to be knee deep in water to make up for all of the lost water.

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