Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Drought Can Have Different Meanings.(Final)

Byline: John Fleck Journal Staff Writer

DRY HORIZON WATER IN THE WEST

What is drought?

At its most basic, it simply means less water than you've come to expect.

But Charlie Liles has learned over the years that the definition really depends on who you're talking to.

Liles, head of the National Weather Service's Albuquerque office, is a frequent speaker on the issue, trying to explain drought to policymakers and the general public.

He makes the point that whether you are suffering from a drought depends a lot on how you depend on water.

He uses four sometimes overlapping definitions for stages of drought and their effects:

* Meteorological drought -- A period of substantially diminished rain and snow. …

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