Where is our Share of the Rain?

Deadly flood-producing rain in southern Utah, inches of rain in portions of SoCal. So where is our share. Granted the 5 minute rain storm yesterday afternoon dropped almost up to 0.2" of rain in some parts of Albuquerque but the total at the Sunport was only 0.04" bringing the official Albuquerque total to 0.10" (2.5 mm) for the month.

September is climatologically Albuquerque's third wettest month with a long term average of 27.4 mm (1.08"). Albuquerque natives say that we can "always" expect at least several days of rain during the State Fair. However, Albuquerque has seen it's share of dry Septembers. During the Sev tenure 1998 cracked the driest "top" 10 with 0.15" But then we only have to go back 2 years to 2013 for the wettest Albuquerque Sept.(1893-present) with 3.97" (100.8 mm).

Sevilleta's refuge-wide average for September is 22.2 mm. So far the total for the refuge through Sep. 15 is 1.6 mm. The driest September on record for the Sev was 2000 when the refuge-wide average was 4.2 mm (0.17"). On the wet end of the precipitation spectrum, unlike Albuquerque when 2013 was the wettest September, 1997 was the Sev's wettest with a refuge-wide average of 106.8 mm (4.20").

So with the monster El Nino approaching we might wish to think that since the 1997-1998 El Nino is the one that is being touted as an analog to this one we should be expecting Sept. precipitation similar to that record-setting precipitation. Seems unlikely at this point. Below are some precipitation totals for the Sevilleta for Septembers leading up to other recent El Nino's. So while it would seem reasonable to expect more precipitation this month the link between El Nino and this month's precipitation is not very solid.

              Sept.
Year          Precip (mm)
---------------------
1972          49.3 *
1982          29.2 *
1987          10.4 *
1991          46.7
1994          57.3
1997         106.8
2002          74.7
2004          13.2
2006          26.2
2009          33.9
---------------------
Average       44.8 (37.9 mm without 1997)
1989-2014   22.2

* Actually from Socorro, NM 

D.M.

Article Section: