July 2016 Met Central - Monsoon is Still Mostly a No-show

Early in July it looked like there might be an early start to the
monsoons. The first day of the month saw measurable moisture at all
of the met stations on the refuge with some stations getting up to 10
mm. However a big high pressure moved back in over the state to
basically shut off the flow of monsoon moisture for an extended
period of time. Some moisture returned after the 17th with some hit
and miss moisture at various places across the refuge. Finally a
storm on the 30th hit the northwestern portion of the refuge. But
ultimately the refuge wide average of 15.2 mm was the 3rd driest July
in the Sev LTER history. 2003 and 2005 were the two drier July's. It
might be notable that these were both monsoons following El Nino
winters such as this past one.

July's lack of moisture was accompanied by much warmer than normal
temperatures through out the month.
Particularly during the middle of July
daily high temperatures went up and
parked near or above the century mark for an extended period. There
were 15 days with at least one weather station having a 100 degree F
or higher temperature. There were 3 days that set new daily high
temperature records. This thus becomes the 2nd warmest July in the
Sev LTER period of record - 2003 was the warmest.

    July Record Temperatures - High 41.4 (106.5 F), Low 5.4 (41.7 F)
    July '16 Record Temperatures - High 39.9 (103.8 F), Low 12.2 (54 F)

July Meteorological Summary

                       July       July '16         July '16
Variable             Long-term* Mean    Mean           Mean Range
Mean Max Temp (C)         33.17          35.7          33.0 - 36.7
Mean Min Temp (C)         17.48          18.6          16.0 - 20.6
Mean Average Temp (C)     25.32          27.1          25.3 - 28.6
Mean R.H. (%)             41.2           29.3          28.7 - 31.6
Mean Vap Press. (mb)      11.69           9.57         8.98 - 9.95
Mean Max Wind (m/sec)     11.0           11.6          9.6 - 12.7
Mean Solar Rad. (kWh/m2)   7.28           7.98         7.54 - 8.57
Precip.(mm)               46.0           15.2           6.9 - 27.7
*Long-term refers to all of the Sevilleta met stations for 1989-2015

Albuquerque - Sevilleta Comparison

For yet another month Albuquerque's official weather station missed
out on most of the storms. Storms on the 29th and 30th kept it from
being the 10th driest July in Albuquuerque's 1893-present record. For
the calendar year both Albuquerque and the Sev are running well blow

Less rain coincided with higher temperatures in ABQ as well, This July
tied with 2005, 1994 and 1954 as the 7th warmest July in Albuquerque's
1893-present record. 2003 was the warmest July and 2011 was the 4th

               Loc         Precip          Normal         % of Normal
July		ABQ	    29.0 mm	   38.1 mm	      76 % 
		SEV 	    15.2 mm	   46.0 mm	      33 %

Year to Date    ABQ        63.4 mm        119.0 mm            53 %
                SEV        77.2 mm        114.5 mm            67 %
Remember to check National Weather Service Monthly highlights at:

Water-year Precipitation

The water-year precipitation for the Sev has now slipped ever so
slightly below average.

     Water Year Precipitation (mm)

Month           Mean            2015-2016    
Oct             23.2              53.5       
Nov             11.1               9.0
Dec		14.1		  20.0
Jan		 8.0		   8.2
Feb		 7.8		   2.0
Mar		13.4		   0.0
May		13.0		  22.4
Jun		14.7		   9.8
Jul		46.0		  15.2
               162.9		 159.7    


The dry July did not result in as big an increase in drought
conditions as I would have expected. According to the
U.S. Drought Monitor
the percentage of NM under moderate drought status rose from
16% at the end of June to 27% at the end of July. 95% of the state,
including the Sev, is considered abnormally dry.

El Nino

El Nino is officially gone.

The Ocean Nino Index (ONI) dropped from +0.7 for the Apr/May/Jun
period to +0.2 for the May/Jun/Jul. The Sea Surface Temperature
anomaly for the key 3.4 Nino zone dropped from -0.1 to -0.5 C during
July. Lower than -0.5 is considered La Nina range.

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) actually went up just a little
bit during July but the 5-month running mean went into positive
territory (more La Ninaish) for the first time since August of 2014.

Notables from on and off the Sev

Northern edge of the eastern side of the refuge is the greenest while
much of the rest of the refuge is still waiting for real monsoon-like

The intense localized storm on July 30th on the eastern part of Nunn
Flats caused a lot of overland runoff that really
laid down the grass clumps in the path of the flow
. There was obviously
a lot of relocation of soil and organic matter from between the grass
grass clumps as well. Much of the flow seemed to originate from the
2014 burn near Bootleg Canyon.
A fair amount of damage was done to the Nunn road as well.


After a quick start to the 2016 hurricane season in the Atlantic basin
there was virtually no tropical storm activity in July. On the other
hand the eastern Pacific saw 8 named tropical systems including 3 tropical
storms and 5 hurricanes... 3 of which were major hurricanes.

August Forecast

NOAA is calling for both warmer and wetter conditions for the western
side of NM for August.


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