National Drought Mitigation Center

National Drought Mitigation Center
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Small fires that occurred over winter may cause fire restrictions in Sandoval County, New Mexico
4/2/2018 9:49:10 AM

Relief, Response & Restrictions
Sandoval County, NM

Start Date: 3/31/2018 - End Date: 3/31/2018
The month of March was dry, windy and warm with just 6 days of cloudy, cool weather. The surface soil moisture has been holding amazingly well, though, still moist from 2 to 6"+ down. Grasses are trying to break dormancy, but apart from the roadsides, the native grasses are barely greening up, and a very few wildflowers are starting to show and bloom (bladderpod mustard). With only one significant rainfall and a total of 0.57" for the month, we continue to fall behind and deeper into drought. Agricultural prospects don't look good for the year, as winter snow really makes a difference in the ability of the land to absorb and maintain moisture through the year. There really wasn't any significant snow on the ground this winter, and the northern peaks are bare and rocky. Fruit trees and flowering shrubs here are actually behind in blooming, even though its been warm all month with only one small frost. Flowers and pollinator insects are way down this month, meaning there will be more dormancy and less life to go around this spring. Already the City of Santa Fe is talking about fire restrictions, and a few small fires even broke out this winter. People are still suffering with dry nasal passages and eyes, the dryness exacerbating the allergy symptoms of juniper and other pollen. Skiing was a bust this year, as were other winter sports, as the snow pack was thin to non-existent. Water supply to middle Rio Grande farmers is estimated to be half of what it usually is this summer. CoCoRaHS Report from Station #Placitas 3.8 ENE on 3/31/2018