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.
April carried on where March left off - no precipitation. Actually the Sevilleta got one shot of rain during April but it did not come until the 19th of the month and was still less than normal for April. The only good news was that this precipitation almost doubled the total from the previous 3 months of the calendar year.
No real weather madness during March around here this year. With the exception of precipitation, most climate variables came in about as close to normal as ever happens. Both maximum and minimum temperatures generally bounced above and below normal throughout the month so that monthly means ended virtually normal. This is a little surprising considering the lack of moisture in the air and/or falling out of the air. There were 2 new low temperature records set during the month.
It may feel like summer is just around the corner but I will predict that winter will probably throw us a few more curves.
January was not very newsworthy or at least not weather-worthy... in New Mexico. TV weather-casters had almost nothing to show on their radar as clouds were few and far between. Even when present little fell out of them. A big high locked over the western half of the US sent the jet stream and hence the moisture all north. The only talking point became the number of days since the last precipitation. The last precipitation in Albuquerque (and on the Sev) was Dec 21. The record for Albuquerque during the Dec - Feb period was 41 days (1927-28).
For a year that looked promising as an El Nino seemed to be developing during the fall it turned out to exhibit a strong La Nina nature instead. This was despite the fact that a La Nina never really developed. The first half of the year was the driest in the Sev LTER 25 year history with only an average of 20 mm for the first 6 months.
Climate trivia. Optimism was running high regarding the easing of drought in NM. Following the very wet July and September that brought considerable relief to drought conditions around the state, early December storms built snow packs earlier in the ski season than normal These were considered good signs for drought easing. In light of this the question is, when have we had a wet or wetter Decembers than this.
November is one of those months that can really push the extremes of one's wardrobe. Some years the Sevilleta has had daytime temperatures of over 80 degrees F and then have temperatures plummeting to 0 degrees F. This years November had neither of those. In addition many NM natives have stories of winter storms arriving sometime during the Thanksgiving week that have caused holiday travel chaos. This year might well have been one of those except the winter storm actually arrived here the week ahead of Thanksgiving because of the lateness of the holiday this year. More later.