A drying Rio Grande

I went out to the Rio Grande yesterday morning to talk to KOB’s Eddie Garcia about the prospect of a drying Rio Grande through Albuquerque this summer.

The final forecast numbers put this year’s runoff at just 18 percent of the long term average. The flow right now at Embudo, as the Rio Grande is entering New Mexico’s populous middle valleys, is the second lowest it’s ever been at this time of year. Records there go back to 1889 – the oldest USGS gauge in the nation.

It’s not clear yet whether we’ll have complete drying through the Albuquerque reach, but it’s a possibility. The last time that happened – a zero cfs reading at the Central Avenue gauge – was 1977. The last time we’ve been under 30 cfs – which is still a trickle, but for all practical purposes is dry – was 1983.

Days with zero flow, USGS Albuquerque gauge

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