The Rio Grande forecast keeps getting worse

The preliminary Feb. 1 forecast for runoff on New Mexico’s rivers, out  this evening, is now projecting record or near-record low flows for the 2018 runoff season. It would take an epic wave of wet storms from here on out to bring the river to anything approaching a “normal” year, and no such epic wave is in the forecast.

The numbers:

  • Rio Grande at Otowi, 21 percent, with a one in ten chance on the wet side of getting up to 45 percent of average, and a one in ten chance of having as little as 6 percent of average.
  • Pecos above Santa Rosa, 11 percent of average (that’s not a worst case, that’s the midpoint of the forecast range)
  • Native water inflow into El Vado, on the Rio Chama – 24 percent

This is a crazy bad forecast.