“Little to no precipitation” was one way to describe last January for the residents of New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. In fact the latest U.S. analysis by the National Climatic Data Center shows that New Mexico had the driest January on record – a complete reversal of December’s record setting precipitation amounts. These record low rainfalls only exacerbated the droughts affecting the region.The precipitation totals for all of January across the U.S. are shown here in a visualization of data analyzed by NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. The dataset combines precipitation estimates from around 8,000 daily reports from NOAA’s co-ops rain gauge stations and River Forecast Centers. The precipitation totals in some sparsely populated areas may not be accurately represented here, but the general patterns are striking: almost no precipitation fell on many parts of the Southwest, whereas parts of the Pacific Northwest U.S. and Gulf of Mexico received considerably higher amounts.
The source article An Incredibly Dry January for the Southwest U.S. was published February 7, 2011 by NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory - .