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Forecasters: NM chances slim for winter moisture

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Weather forecasters and state and federal water managers are painting a grim picture of the chances of drought-stricken New Mexico making up any ground this winter.

It's early, but officials say the state is already starting off with half of the average snowpack for this time of year and weather models aren't offering any hope for more snow.

Drought has a lock on nearly three-quarters of the West, including much of New Mexico.

With no meaningful winter moisture, Bureau of Reclamation hydrologist Raymond Abeyta says this coming year will mark the lowest New Mexico reservoirs have ever been heading into an irrigation season.

That means trouble for water users who have spent the last two years operating on rations. In southern New Mexico, home to the second biggest pecan crop in the nation, groundwater levels are already taking a hit.