ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Despite the start of monsoon season, most of New Mexico is under moderate drought thanks to high temperatures last month and below average rainfall.
Data released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor showed that 72 percent of New Mexico is experiencing moderate drought conditions. Nearly 100 percent of the state is "abnormally dry" or worse.
The drought conditions are returning a year after the state received a good amount of rainfall.
For example, Albuquerque Sunport saw 3.28 inches in July 2015. This July, Albuquerque Sunport received only 1.14 inches and below the average amount for the month.
Record high temperatures also have played a role in bring severe drought back to New Mexico. Average temperature in Roswell last month was 86.5 degrees — the warmest July on record, according the National Weather Service.
The agency said there were 11 record highs that were tied or broken during July in New Mexico.
In addition, the first 18 days of July were 100 degrees or higher, smashing the previous 100 or higher consecutive days of 13, back in 2011.