August was a tale of 2 halves. The cooler end of July carried on into
August with temperatures running quite near normal for the first half
of the month. The second half of the month saw a further shift to
generally cooler than normal for the remainder of the month. Average
daily highs, average daily lows and average daily means all ran
considerably below normal. This August basically tied with 2004 as
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
Below are this years entries for the Monsoon Prediction Contest.
Predictions were submitted by 33 people. If you really think that you
submitted a guess and it is not on the list, please contact me
immediately (email@example.com) - it could have gotten lost.
Yesterday, June 26 and July 10 tied as the most popular choices this year
with 3 selections each.
Good Luck to all
I have decided to continue the Monsoon Prediction Contest for at least
another year. Even though the National Weather Service (NWS) declares
June 15th to be the official start of the Monsoon season, the true
start of monsoon level precipitation in this area can be extremely
variable. It typically starts sometime in late June or early July and
extends into September. There are numerous criteria for what
constitutes the start of the monsoon season but my experience has
shown that a pretty sizable shot of moisture over a 1 or 2 day period
New Sevilleta records in May. Coolest average daily low
temperature in Sevilleta's 28 year record. Average lows were 46.6 F -
long term average is 50 F. There were 5 days with new record daily low
temperatures. Believe it or not last May was the second coolest on
record. Daytime highs were not all that warm either. The maximum
daily high on the refuge during this May was only 88.9 degrees
If we thought February was a poor example of a strong El Nino
February, March was even more underwhelming - driest March in the NM
long-term record. March's are typically wetter than February's and in
certain cases very much wetter. For example the wettest March in
Albuquerque's long term record was 1998... the last super El Nino.
Not only was March entirely dry across the Sevilleta, the last
precipitation on all of the met stations on the Sev was back on Feb
1st. Since the end of March that was 59 days with virtually no moisture
The cold end of 2015 carried over into the start of 2016. The Sevilleta started 2016 with a 2-week stretch of cold - high temperatures never reached average until the 14th. High temperatures then spent much of the rest of January above average with 2 of the last 3 days of the month breaking daytime records. Ultimately, mean daytime highs averaged over 1 degree C below average while night time lows came in almost exactly average. Daily means were about a half a degree C cooler than average.
Beginning at the largest scale, 2015 set a new global high temperature record- actually shattering the previous 2014 record.
El Nino express has arrived. Two big storms hit New Mexico during December. The Sevilleta actually benefited more from the first storm on the 12th and 13th of the month that was a combination of rain and then snow. The second storm that arrived on the 26th and came in very cold and windy. The Sevilleta got considerably more of the snow than Albuquerque did but got nothing like the blizzard that hit the eastern side of the state.
With fingers crossed, I'm going to say that it looks like El Nino is still going to be good to New Mexico. However, November precipitation was not anything to write home about... at least not for the Sevilleta. The 9.0 mm refuge-wide average was less than the 11.2 mm November long-term.average There was a considerable spatial disparity across the refuge with the west side of the refuge averaging only 4.6 mm for the month while the east side averaged 12.3 mm.