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.
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.