Thursday Drought Watch

I’ve been much of the week up in Santa Fe at a workshop of drought scientists, and while we’ve been busy palavering, things have been changing on the ground here in the drought-stricken southwest. The greatest excitement was in Coronado National Memorial Park, near Bisbee in far southern Arizona, which got 12 inches of rain Sunday and Monday, and had to close. A National Park in the desert, closed because of rain.

Where the people live:

In Tucson, 3.83 inches of rain fell July 27-31, with 4-8 inches falling in the surrounding mountains (Mt. Lemmon had 7.71 inches)…. In New Mexico, a very active July monsoon continued, dumping another 1-3 inches of rain on most of the State. Although a number of water restrictions remained in place (with some precautionary), fire restrictions are basically gone except in Roosevelt County as topsoil moisture has greatly rebounded. Accordingly, a one-category improvement was made for much of New Mexico, except in the southeast. If August continues wet, New Mexico would enter autumn with only long-term (6+ years) drought lingering in the mountains.

This raises a number of interesting questions related to the value of summer monsoon rainfall versus winter snowpack in affecting drought conditions here. All precip is not the same.

One Comment

  1. Parts of Denver got 2+ in. overnight the other nite. A lot of this ran off as sheet flow, so contributions to soil moisture were limited. Reservoirs enjoyed it, however.



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