New Mexico sees driest March on record

Courtesy: NOAA NCEI Climate

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE)- New Mexico just saw its driest March in at least 120 years.

It comes on the heels of a very wet December, that gave everyone hope for a drought-busting winter and spring.

“It’s been extremely dry, I don’t think we’ve had any measurable rain within the past month,” said Angelo Gurule, Chaves County Fire Services Director.

Not only has it been the driest month on record but also one of the warmest.

That has people surprised. They’d hoped the huge storm that hit eastern New Mexico in the winter would be indicative of the spring. However, that didn’t happen.

“We were hoping that that would start a moisture trend because we were hoping that it would start a pattern and get us out of the drought but it just dumped on us and went away and after that we couldn’t get a break anywhere with any rains or anything else,” said Gurule.

Farmers are feeling the pain of these dry conditions, many having to find ways to conserve water since much of the state is in a drought.

As we’ve seen the past couple weeks around Ruidoso, fire season is here.

The Chaves County Fire Department knows it’s not just the mountains that are bone-dry.

“It’s very dangerous, especially now with the winds that we have been getting, if a fire were to start, it could spread fairly quick and get pretty big,” said Gurule.

They say they are preparing for what could be a very busy brush fire season.

“Unless we get some more rains in soon, it will be a long season and it will be a pretty active season,” said Gurule.

Chaves County fire services says they have been responding to mostly brush fires started by cars. They’ve been able to get to those pretty quickly.

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