News
Helicopter spreading fire retardant in Nuevo Leon, Mexico A Conagua helicopter spreading fire retardant over Santiago, Nuevo León, forest fires last week. Conagua

Drought conditions now reported in more than half the country

Northeastern states hardest hit, with a few areas at highest possible drought ratings

More than half the country is facing drought conditions, according to a report by the National Water Commission (Conagua).

Conagua’s most recent drought monitoring report said that on April 15, 53.3% of the nation’s territory was in anywhere from moderate to exceptional drought, 7.2% more than on March 31.

One hundred percent of Aguascalientes is in moderate drought, while 99.9% of Sonora is either in moderate or severe drought. In Baja California, 99.6% of its territory is either in moderate or severe conditions.

However, the worst affected states are in the north and northeast: Coahuila has 29.7% of its territory in extreme drought and 1.7% in exceptional. In Tamaulipas, 1.6% of of the state is in exceptional drought, while 15.2% of Nuevo León is in extreme drought and 8.5% of Chihuahua is also in that category.

More than a third of the country’s municipalities — 896 — are dry, up from 671 on March 31.

 

Data shows moderate to severe drought conditions scattered throughout the country. Bright red indicates extreme drought and maroon exceptional drought. Conagua

Jalisco has the most municipalities affected, 115, followed by Veracruz, 75, and Sonora, 72. The municipalities with the worst exceptional drought are in Coahuila (Guerrero, Hidalgo and Nava) and Tamaulipas (Guerrero).

The southeast of the country was the exception, after experiencing above-average rainfall. Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco and Quintana Roo have all been unaffected.

Conagua said that in the first half of April there were two high pressure systems that created clear weather and high temperatures, conditions that favored the increase of areas affected.

It added that the worst drought was isolated to the north and northeast of the country. “The increase in areas with moderate to severe drought in the northwest, north-central, east and west continued. As for the extreme and exceptional drought, these increased in the north and northeast of the country.”

Rainfall this year is significantly down. Until April 14, 44 millimeters of average rainfall were recorded across the country, 35.3% below the historical average.

Only one of Mexico’s principal dams — Nexapa, Puebla — was full. Another 64 dams are less than three-quarters full.

With reports from Reforma

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.