A weird dry stretch

Here’s a statistical oddity. Through April 14, we’ve measured 0.4 inches (10 mm) of precipitation at the National Weather Service’s Albuquerque gauge in 2014, about 23 percent of the long term mean. This is the seventh straight year that Albuquerque has been below average through April 14. 2007 is the last calendar year in Albuquerque that got off to a wet start:

Albuquerque precip through April 14

Albuquerque precip through April 14

There’s nothing special about April 14 other than the fact that today’s the day I happened to write this blog post (I’ve been watching this phenomenon for weeks). In fact, if you plot things out to the end of June, we’re on track to have the seventh consecutive year that the first six months of the calendar year were drier than average (the line of little black boxes is this year – the black box indicates days for which we do not have data):

through June

through June

Here’s hoping we break the string.


  1. In data situations like this one, where one direction is closely bound by zero and the other direction is open to extreme values, the average is usually larger than the median. So, in this case, most years will be below average. Details aside, though, we are in a dry spell.

  2. Paul – Brilliant, thanks for the statistical insight.

    My quick calculation puts the median at 1.36 inches, well below the 1.73 mean. One of the past seven years (2012) now jumps above that line.

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