October began the new 2015 water-year. On average, October is the 4th wettest month of the year, following July, August, September. However it seems that the Sevilleta rarely sees the average precipitation during October but rather often either extremes near 0 or on par with the wetter months of the summer. Sevilleta saw some moisture from another hurricane. Early in the month Hurricane Simon provided the first real moisture of October.
Hurricanes to the rescue. Moisture associated with Hurricane Odile contributed much of the September moisture at the Sevilleta. The refuge, average total for the month was 57.8 mm; of this 42.4 mm fell during the 3 day period of Sep 15-17. This makes September the wettest month of 2014 so far. It is also the 5th wettest September in Sev LTER's 26-year record.
Hurricanes can be our friends. Actually the remnants of hurricanes can be our friends. This is the time of the year that Pacific hurricanes sometime come to the southwest to die. Moisture carried by or directed by these tropical storms can have a big impact on our fall moisture. Of course sometimes they miss us and drop all of their moisture in other areas. This was particularly the case with Hurricane Norbert. It dropped inches of rain in Arizona but did little for NM. Hurricane Odile looked more promising. Big flooding rain amounts were predicted for much of New Mexico.
The good news is that there were lots of days during August with precipitation somewhere on the refuge - 18 days. The bad news was that this precipitation was often limited in amount as well as in area upon which it fell. The refuge-wide average was 38.1 mm (long-term average is 42.3 mm). The northern portion of McKenzie Flats got the largest amount of rain with the partial met station near Black Butte getting 69 mm. The South Gate station on the east side came in with only 23.6 mm.
Sevilleta's monsoon arrived late. Actually monsoon level moisture arrived early but refused to fall from the sky in sufficient quantities until late in the month. There were numerous small to medium shots of rain for the first half of the month. This was followed by a hot and dry spell. Wetter and more wide-spread storms returned for the last 3 days of the month. These not only "officially" started the monsoon but also pushed the average rainfall for the month past normal.
Remember the Monsoon Contest? Yes, it had still been going on.
Despite big floods in other parts of the state, the Sevilleta Refuge
continually missed out on a "big one".
Yesterday afternoon (July 29) a storm swept through portions of the
Sevilleta and beginning at 7:38 MDT the Cerro Montoso met station
received a total of 25.8 mm of precipitation. Other stations on the
east side of the refuge got sizable amounts as well while the west
side got smaller amounts and the South Gate station on the east side
June was hot at both ends. The end of June is expected to be hot; the last week of the month holds all of the daily high temperature records for the Sevilleta. However, this year June 3rd was the hottest day on the Sevilleta with a 103.6 F reading. This was easily a new high temperature record for this day. June 4th also set a new daily high record and was followed by 2 more 100+ days at a station on the Sev.
Below are this years entries for the Monsoon Prediction Contest. Predictions were submitted by 53 people. If you really think that you submitted a guess and it is not on the list, please contact me immediately - it could have gotten lost. People's dates and times should be correct as I just copied and pasted them - hence the variety of formats. We have already sailed right by a few peoples selections and today (June 25) is not looking real promising even though it was the 2nd most popular pick. July 4th was the most popular choice this year with 6 selections. July 2nd had 4 picks.
Uh Oh. The monsoons almost got started without us. Last Fridayafternoon a convective storm rolled through the NW corner of theSevilleta. It dropped 16 mm (0.62") of precipitation in the raingauge at Red Tank (in the foothills of the Ladrones) in about 20minutes. Actually, about 0.5" of that came in a 5 minute period.That rate would have given us a qualifying storm in a couple moreminutes if it had continued. The met station at Bronco Well got 12 mmof precipitation but the field station got only 2.8 mm and the
These scorching high temperatures may seem even hotter because we have just come out of one of the cooler Mays in the Sevilleta history May had some above-normal temperature periods but these were interspersed with some decidedly cool periods as well. For example the period from the 12th through the 15th saw high temperatures as low as the 50's and 3 below freezing nights. The night of the 15th saw a low of 23 which is the lowest minimum ever that late in the season.