November 2014 - Met Central - Yo-Yo Temperatures

November temperatures came in just about average for the month although few of the daily temperatures actually ran at normal. November started warm but a cooling storm brought some early moisture to NM. Unseasonable warmth returned until the 12th when a Polar Express brought extremely cold temperature down through the eastern side of the state with only some of it leaking through into the central part of the state. Temperatures went from a new daily record high on the 10th to a new daily record low on the 12th. After a 1 day respite more cold air invaded the state on the 17th driving temperatures down to new record lows on the Sevilleta. Temperatures remained low through much of the rest of the month although there was a big rise at the end of the month with a new daily high temperature record set on the 29th. Ultimately there were 3 new daily high temperature records set and 3 new daily low records set during the month

    November Record Temperatures - High 28 (82.4), Low -17.8 (0.0 F)
    November '14 Record Temperatures - High 26.0 (79 F), Low -14.2 (6.4 F)

November moisture on the Sevilleta came early (the 2nd and 4th) and then again on the 16th with no further moisture after that day. The 11.5 mm average total just barely surpassed the November long-term average for the refuge of 11.2 mm.

November Meteorological Summary

                        November     November '14   November '14
Variable             Long-term* Mean    Mean           Mean Range
Mean Max Temp (C)         15.27          15.3          12.7 - 16.2
Mean Min Temp (C)         -0.90          -1.4          -4.5 - 0.6
Mean Average Temp (C)      7.18           7.0           6.2 - 8.0
Mean R.H. (%)             45.3           42.4          39.0 - 47.8
Mean Vap Press. (mb)       4.34           4.12         3.92 - 4.44
Mean Max Wind (m/sec)      8.4            8.6           8.2 - 9.2
Mean Solar Rad. (kWh/m2)   3.76           4.00         3.66 - 4.33
Precip.(mm)               11.2           11.5           4.5 - 31.9 
*Long-term refers to all of the Sevilleta met stations for 1989-2013

Albuquerque - Sevilleta Comparison

Virtually all of Albuquerque's November precipitation came on the 2nd and this only amounted to about half of ABQ's normal and about half of what the Sev saw. The year-to-date totals for the Sevilleta and Albuquerque are now almost identical. Both are still more than 10% below normal and unlikely to make up the difference in December.

		Loc        Precip 	  Normal 	% of Normal
November      	ABQ         6.4 mm         14.5 mm            44 %
                SEV        11.5 mm         11.2 mm           103 %

Year to Date    ABQ       194.5 mm        227.3 mm            86 %
                SEV       194.3 mm        224.0 mm            87 %
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Water-year Precipitation

Although the Sevilleta managed to eke out normal precipitation for November, the refuge is still running at only about 80% of normal. This is still the best Oct-Nov since 2009 and much better than the same period in in 2012 that saw an average of 0.9 mm for the first months of the water-year on the Sevilleta.

    Water Year Precipitation (mm)
Month           Mean            2014-2015    
Oct             23.0              16.6       
Nov             11.3              11.5
                34.3              28.1


The U.S. Drought Monitor actually shows a slight drop in the area of NM not considered under drought since last month. There has been a commensurate increase in areas designated as under various categories of drought.  The Palmer Drought Index shows a shift in the area of NM that is still under drought from east of the Mid Rio Grande Valley to West of the Mid Rio Grande Valley since the beginning of November.


The experts are continuing to drop the odds for El Nino, now only 58% - slightly better than 50/50. However several of the leading indicators have moved significantly in the El Nino direction during November. The Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies continued in the right direction (more positive) and finished the month at +1.0 degrees C. The Oceanic Nino Index (ONI) is now at +0.5 which is the threshold for an El Nino. It must remain above +.05  for 4 more consecutive months to be designated a true El Nino.   The Southern Oscillation Index also continued in the right direction (more negative) going from -0.6 in October to -0.9 in November. The 5-month running mean went from -0.40 to -0.62. This is the first time this mean has crossed the El Nino demarcation of -0.5 since May of 2010. Conditions would still predict at least normal to above normal winter precipitation regime which has not been the case since 2009-2010. Recent rain with mud slides are "good news" for us in the SW.

Notables from on and off the Sev

Annex Move

Biology Annex is no longer an Annex. All offices and labs in the former building have been relocated in the 1st floor of the new addition to Castetter Hall. This completes almost a full circle from the time that Jim Gosz and David Kidd moved from Castetter Hall back in 1975? Thank Dave Van Horn for the Herculean task of directing the move.

Two November cold blasts hit much of the country resulting in freezing temperatures in all 50 states. Lake effect snow off the still relatively warm Great Lakes dumped up to feet of snow on the leeward side of the lakes - up to 8 feet in areas near Buffalo, NY.


Hurricanes The 2014 hurricane season is over. This was a relatively mild Atlantic season with only 8 named storms 6 hurricanes and 2 intense hurricanes. This was the fewest named storms since 1997. This also the 9th consecutive year with no hits by a major hurricane (category 3 or greater) landfall on the U.S. This is actually the longest stretch since record keeping began in 1851. I'm not sure that's any consolation for the Hurricane Sandy survivors of Nov, 2012. The biggest hurricane news in November was the artic blast during mid November. which was ultimately a result from Super Typhoon Nuri whch developed in the western Pacific that recurved back to the east as an extremely strong extra-tropical storm that battered Alaska and then forced a large blob of arctic air down through the center of the continental U.S.

December Forecast

NOAA is still being optimistic for our chances of above average precipitation during December as well as for the entire Dec-Feb period.

Temperatures for December are predicted to be on the warmer than normal side.


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