It finally rained yesterday morning in Albuquerque, a bit after 8 a.m., ending a 96-day dry streak.
The water in the bottom of my gauge looked like strong tea as the rain washed out three months’ dust, and the relief was not measurable, but large. I ended up with 0.09 inch (2.3 mm) at my house, and the Albuquerque airport gauge run by the National Weather Service got 0.03 inch (0.8 mm).
My skin is cracking, and conversation at the office this week turned to moisturizing techniques. Since Oct. 1, the “water year”, 2017-18 is the third driest year in more than a century of records here, a ranking that only changed slightly among years that, for all practical purposes, saw no meaningful rain on the landscape this far into the winter season.
In my morning paper Kerry Jones (NWS meteorologist, graduate of UNM’s Water Resources Program, skilled communicator of such things) gave these “yeah buts”:
“We would need unprecedented wetness, almost equivalent to the dryness we have experienced, to make up the ground we have lost,” he said.
Only 0.005″ in my rain gauge in the north valley. Does that even qualify as a “trace?” Still better than nothing, I guess.
Even this NM native has been running a humidifier in the house the last several weeks.