Regardless of some much-needed rainfall, the state's drought continues. However, parts of the state are looking better than they have in years.
Some state parks have been able to reopen after years of closure due to drought. But New Mexico is still not totally out of the woods.
Many say they've never seen it this bad in the state. The ongoing drought has taken it's toll, but things are finally looking up.
"We haven't seen drought conditions as far as its impact on recreation like this in many years in my career," said Toby Velasquez, with New Mexico State Parks. "I haven't seen water levels this low, however some of the lakes have rebounded due to the rainfall."
Heavy rains have made this monsoon season a very wet one so far in parts of the state. The biggest storm in decades
hit the metro area just last month.
Monsoon storms also dropped several inches of rain around some New Mexico lakes, adding several feet of water to Clayton Lake, which has been closed for the last couple years due to drought.
But Velasquez said the rain hasn't helped everywhere.
"I don't believe that we're out of the drought anywhere in the state," he said. "We're lucky that the precipitation has had a positive impact on lake levels so we can, you know, offer opportunities that most people are looking for, but drought conditions persist."
The dark red in the state's most recent drought map
represents exceptional drought conditions. The same map from May shows nearly half the state fell into that category.
Side by side, the maps put the state's improvement into perspective.
"We're glad to have all the rain. We'll need more and we continue to hope that conditions will improve," said Velasquez.
Velasquez said the only state park that remains closed due to drought is Manzano Mountain State Park in Mountainair. Velasquez added the rest are open for business.
Experts tell KRQE News 13 the state will need a good amount of moisture for several years to get out of the drought. For more information on state parks in New Mexico, click here