October 2016 - Met Central - New Record Warm October


October
started only a little warmer than normal, then went to much
warmer than normal and then finished the month with 10 days of record
or near record high temperatures. There were only 5 days with average
daily high temperatures below average. There were 8 new daily high
temperature records set during the month. The average daily high of
78.8 degrees F shattered the old record daytime high average of 77.1 F
from 1995. The 28-year average daily high for October is 72.3. The
average night time low (46.8 F) came in as only tied for the second
warmest October. Last October was actually the warmest at 47.2 F.
The long term average low is 42.5. There was only one sub freezing
temperature on the refuge during the month. The average daily
temperature of 62.8 F set a new record for the the month at the Sev as
well. Old record was 2003 with 61.1.

    October Record Temperatures - High 34.1 (93.3 F), Low -14.8 (41 F
    October '16 Record Temperatures - High 32.6 (90.7 F), Low -0.4 (31.3 F)

October precipitation across the refuge was extremely limited and all
came early in the month - last precipitation was Oct 9. The 5.1 mm
refuge average fell far short of the long term October average of 23.2
mm. The majority of the rain fell on the Los Pinos stations while the
west side of the refuge got only an average of less than 1 mm. Dry
Octobers are not unusual with 5 of the 28-year LTER record being less
than this year.

October Meteorological Summary

                  October       October '16       October '16
Variable             Long-term* Mean    Mean           Mean Range
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mean Max Temp (C)         22.4           26.0          23.3 - 26.9
Mean Min Temp (C)          5.84           8.3           5.1- 10.7
Mean Average Temp (C)     14.12          17.1          16.0 - 18.3
Mean R.H. (%)             42.7           34.8          33.7 - 37.1
Mean Vap Press. (mb)       6.45           6.47         6.20 - 6.78
Mean Max Wind (m/sec)      8.9            8.4           8.1 - 9.1
Mean Solar Rad. (kWh/m2)   4.86           5.39         4.96 - 5.83
Precip.(mm)               23.2            5.1           0.3 - 22.8
---------------------------------------------------------------------
*Long-term refers to all of the Sevilleta met stations for 1989-2015

Albuquerque - Sevilleta Comparison

Albuquerque saw over 3 times as much precipitation as the Sev refuge
altho totals in the Los Pinos were comparable. Albuquerque got about
3/4 of its expected precipitation while the Sev only got about 1/4.
Both places have a long way to go to get to normal by the end of the
calendar year and Nov and Dec are not considered wet months around
here.

Albuquerque was very warm during October as well. The average daily
temperature for ABQ was 63.1 F. This is the 2nd warmest October in
the city's 120 year record - October 1950 averaged 65.1! It should be
noted that Oct, 2015 tied for the 6th warmest (61.4) and 2014 tied for
the 3rd warmest (61.5)

               Loc         Precip          Normal         % of Normal
=====================================================================
October         ABQ	   18.8 mm	   25.9 mm	      73 %
	        SEV 	    5.1 mm	   23.2 mm	      22 %

Year to Date    ABQ       130.4 mm        212.9 mm            61 %
                SEV       146.2 mm        214.7 mm            68 %
=====================================================================
Remember to check National Weather Service Monthly highlights at:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/abq/climate/Monthlyreports/October/OCT2016/October2016.htm

Water-year Precipitation

Off we go into a new water-year. Bearing in mind that SEV has not seen
an above average water year in the past 6, this months anemic start
combined with the pending La Nina does not bode well for this coming
one.

Below is a table showing the refuge-wide average water-year
precipitation totals for the LTER record. The monsoon and the
non-monsoon portion of each year is listed as well. Again we have to
go back to 2009-2010 for an above-average water-year.


    Water Year Precipitation (mm)

                           Non-
Water Yr  Total Monsoon  Monsoon
-------   ----  -------  -------
1988-89    128   93.3      34.7
1989-90    286  155.7     130.3
1990-91    254  176.0      78.0
1991-92    372  147.7     224.3
1992-93    235  146.8      88.2
1993-94    246  147.5      98.5
1994-95    225   91.5     133.5
1995-96    218  192.6      25.4
1996-97    400  266.8     133.0
1997-98    260  136.0     124.0
1998-99    278  184.4      93.6
1999-00    194  105.1      88.5
2000-01    293  114.4     179.1
2001-02    245  188.0      57.1
2002-03    149   81.8      67.0
2003-04    292  123.8     168.6
2004-05    289   95.9     192.9
2005-06    256  226.2      29.8
2006-07    291  109.2     181.6
2007-08    210  146.2      63.5
2008-09    194  101.9      92.3
2009-10    263  130.9     132.4
2010-11    106   75.2      30.5
2011-12    187   83.5     103.2
2012-13    234  208.0      25.7
2013-14    188  151.8      36.2
2014-15	   206   89.0     116.6
2015-16	   225   89.9     134.7
-------------------------------
Mean       240  137.8     102.3
St.Dev.    63.9  48.7      55.1 
C.V.       26.6  35.3      53.9

Drought

Lack of moisture has not pushed the drought status back as much as
might be supposed.
The U.S. Drought Monitor
is still only showing about 5% of NM under
drought status although over 60% of the state is considered abnormally
dry. I predict that the drought map is going to show a big
change with this next weeks report.

El Nino

The predictions now say that we will be in a weak La Nina during the
remainder of this year

The Sea Surface Temperature anomaly for the key 3.4 Nino zone was -0.8
The Ocean Nino Index (ONI) dropped from -0.5 for the Jul/Aug/Sep
period to -0.7 for Aug/Sep/Oct.

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) actually took a big swing toward
the El Nino side with an October reading of -0.3 - down from +1.2 in
September. However the 5-month running mean still remains in the La
Nina range at +0.52.

Notables from on and off the Sev

After saying that Oct was dry, it seems that there were some
exceptions. An intense but presumably localized storm on Oct 9 caused
San Lorenzo wash to carry a big enough flow of water that it cut down
the banks of the wash especially at the southern gate of the west
side of the refuge. This cut off access to the refuge through this
gate. The access has now been restored and a new hell-for-stout gate
installed. The road out to West Mesa has been plowed as well. Data
from 2 gauges on the south edge of the refuge recorded 16.5 mm and
14.7 mm. The average for the other gauges on the refuge was 0.9 mm.

Hurricanes

Hurricane Matthew was the big news-maker of the month. This was the
strongest and most expensive tropical storm since Sandy. Matthews
greatest destruction was wreaked on Haiti where it hit as a Category 3
hurricane. It turned out that Matthew did less damage to the
U.S. mainland than was originally feared as it stayed off-shore of the
mainland all the way from Florida to NC. There was still considerable
wind and flooding damage along the coast.

Hurricane Nicole also reached major hurricane strength during October
but got little attention except in Bermuda that it raked rather severely

November Forecast

NOAA recently changed its prediction of better than average
chances that November would be both drier and warmer than normal to
wetter than normal and warmer than normal.

D.M

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