April 2017 Met Central - Finally Some Cooling and Increased Moisture

The good news was that temperatures on the Sevilleta finally backed
off a bit in April, particularly at the end of the month.
While the month started on a cool note
temperatures did run at or
above normal for much of the middle portion of the month. Then the
month ended on a decidedly cool note with the daily average high
temperature on the 28th actually came in only slightly above the
average daily low temperature for that date. Snow coated the ground
at higher elevations of the refuge for that month-end period

    April Record Temperatures - High 34.0 (93.2 F), Low -10.2 (-6.7 F)
    April '17 Record Temperatures - High 29.8 (85.1 F), Low -5.6 (11.8 F)

April precipitation came on the two ends of the month. A relatively
small storm dropped a few millimeters on various areas of the refuge
on April 1st but then there was an extended dry spell until the last
week of the month. The biggest amounts came on the 28th, 29th and
30th bringing the refuge-wide average to 15.8 mm - above the normal
11.9 mm for April.

April Meteorological Summary

                        April         April '17           April '17
Variable             Long-term* Mean    Mean           Mean Range
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Mean Max Temp (C)         22.31           22.5         19.9 - 23.5
Mean Min Temp (C)          4.84            4.8          1.8 - 6.5
Mean Average Temp (C)     13.57           13.6         12.6 - 14.9
Mean R.H. (%)              28.3           31.1         29.5 - 33.3
Mean Vap Press. (mb)       3.99            4.26        4.05 - 4.42
Mean Max Wind (m/sec)     12.1            11.1          9.2 - 12.5
Mean Solar Rad. (kWh/m2)   7.22            6.96       6.86  - 8.02
Precip.(mm)                11.9           15.8          5.5 - 25.4
---------------------------------------------------------------------
*Long-term refers to all of the Sevilleta met stations for 1989-2016

Albuquerque - Sevilleta Comparison

Albuquerque and the Sev saw similar amounts of moisture during the month.

               Loc         Precip          Normal         % of Normal
=====================================================================
April      	ABQ       19.8 mm         13.7 mm           144 %
                SEV       15.8 mm         11.9 mm           133 %

Year to Date    ABQ        60.2 mm        50.0 mm           124 %
                SEV        69.1 mm        40.3 mm           171 %
=====================================================================
Remember to check National Weather Service Monthly highlights at:
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/abq/climate/Monthlyreports/April/MAR2017/April2017.htm

Water-year Precipitation

The water year continued on an above average pace and is now at 162%
of average.


     Water Year Precipitation (mm)

               1989-2015
Month           Mean            2016-2017    
===========================================
Oct             22.2               5.1       
Nov             11.2              45.1
Dec		14.1		  23.1
Jan              8.0		  33.9
Feb 		 7.5		  10.0
Mar		12.9		   9.4
Apr		11.9		  15.8
===========================================
                87.8		  142.4  

Drought

The cooler and wetter April saw a reversal of the drying trend that
had begun across New Mexico at the end of March. The U.S. Drought
Monitor
shows no area of NM under drought status although about 20% of
the state is considered abnormally dry.

Water flow in the Rio Grande continued to run high during April. In
fact it reached its highest flow since 2005 during the month.

ENSO

Indicators are in the neutral zone right now but seem to be pushing
toward the El Nino side of the ledger. The Sea Surface Temperature
anomaly for the key 3.4 Nino zone flirted with the +0.5 degree
threshhold during April but slipped back into the +0.4 range. The
Ocean Nino Index (ONI) went from -0.1 in the Jan-Feb-Mar period to
+0.1 for the Feb-Mar-Apr period. This is the first time it has been
positive since July 2016.

The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has reversed yet again and is now at -0.2.
the 5-month mean is almost unchanged at +0.22.

Notables from on and off the Sev

Lots of flowering forbs on the refuge right now and even the grasses
are greening.

The greenest portion of the refuge is the Nunn Flats burn area.

D.M.

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