Drought Update

More than halfway through our winter precipitation season, the snowpack is pathetic and the runoff forecasts dismal.

Snowpack map
(courtesy Western Regional Climate Center)

Tania Soussan has more in this morning’s Journal (sub. req.):

Several places set new record lows for snowpack as of Feb. 1.

The forecast calls for spring river flows to be 27 percent of average in the Santa Fe River, 40 percent in the Rio Grande near Española, 25 percent into Elephant Butte Reservoir, 30 percent into Santa Rosa Reservoir and 53 percent into Navajo Reservoir.

And if near-normal or greater rain and snow doesn’t materialize this month— something that appears unlikely— the runoff forecasts will drop again March 1.

Armijo said the stage is set for what could become a record low winter for rain and snow.

NRCS runoff forecast


  1. Y’all have some interesting issues with snowpack decline because of warmer temperatures, right? You’re familiar with Phil Mote’s work on this issue, aren’t you?

  2. Yessir – I think you linked to an abstract of his in your former platform, IIRC. Mantua is local so we like him too, for different reasons.

    Tangent but not: I have a piece of Doug-fir trunk on my desk. One of the trees in town came down, snapped off at the trunk about 8 feet up. Without magnification, looks like Phytophthora. Our forest soils are seeing more of it, now it’s in the town; we don’t see as much snow anymore and it seems this fun guy is spreading. We don’t need any more stressors on urban trees, I don’t know how I’d replace the benefits. One more issue to deal with, maybe…

    Enjoy the weekend, sir, I’m headed out to scout out a place for snow camping, so no ride.


  3. Looks like we are having some significant late season storms. Watch the evil smarty skeptic Repubs try to turn that into an argument that the earlier light snow was a fluke. Damnit!

  4. I promise never to be mean, tease, or disagree with the Warmers again. I just read Chricton’s STATE OF FEAR. Before that I thought that those guys were dumb and liberal and pussies. Now, I know that they are fucking BAD azzes! I mean, they KILL people. Dayumm, Dano. You be nice, now. Please?

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