El Niño and New Mexico’s Rio Grande

Does the looming El Niño mean we can expect a big year on the Rio Grande? Not necessarily. The scatter in the data is huge, but hidden in the data is a bit of a nudge in the direction of wet: That’s native flow at Otowi, the key Rio Grande measurement point north of Albuquerque. There’s …

Continue reading ‘El Niño and New Mexico’s Rio Grande’ »

What does El Niño mean for the Colorado River Basin?

What does the growing El Niño oceanic pattern mean for the Colorado River Basin? Best to just shrug, and say the statistics are too small to say much of anything conclusive. In the nine El Niño years since the 1960s, three have been wet, three have been in the middle, and three have been dry. Here’s a …

Continue reading ‘What does El Niño mean for the Colorado River Basin?’ »

Risks of 2016 Colorado River shortage declaration pretty much gone, risks of 2017 also shrinking

The Bureau of Reclamation’s latest 24-month study, out this afternoon (pdf), shows continued improvement on the Colorado River system’s big reservoirs as a result of the hella rainy spring and summer, and therefore a continued reduction in the risk of a Lower Basin shortage declaration. The number to watch is a Lake Mead elevation of …

Continue reading ‘Risks of 2016 Colorado River shortage declaration pretty much gone, risks of 2017 also shrinking’ »

An Albuquerque rainstorm for the record books

That thunderstorm that woke most of us up early this morning (lightning flashes through our skylight at 1:30 a.m.) was one for the record books. At the National Weather Service’s airport gauge (the “official” Albuquerque gauge), 2.24 inches (5.7 cm). According to Brian Guyer at the Weather Service, that’s the single highest 24-hour total in history:

Albuquerque’s monsoon officially underway

By the powers invested in my by no one in particular, I hereby declare Albuquerque’s 2015 Monsoon Season underway. The weather radar is showing blobs of color in the high country to the southwest, there are high clouds popping up above the mountains to the east of the city, but the real clue was how …

Continue reading ‘Albuquerque’s monsoon officially underway’ »

Halfway through June, another million acre feet on the Colorado River

The June mid-month forecast from the Colorado Basin River Forecast Center is up a million acre feet from June 1. Total April-July inflow into Lake Powell is now projected to be 6 million acre feet, up from 5 million acre feet forecast on June 1. That’s still below average, just 84 percent of the mean. …

Continue reading ‘Halfway through June, another million acre feet on the Colorado River’ »