The Monsoon season (June 15 to September 30) in New Mexico started with minimum or none rain during June and it was not until early July that we received the first rains but less than one inch. The active period was almost at the end of the season (early-mid September) which provided moisture during these last weeks. We also had a big event in where received more than 3 inches of rainfall in some zones, mostly in Las Cruces and Southwest NM (figure 2). The ideal is to receive the rainfall distributed along the entire season in multiple events and not in only one, but it was not the case. We end up with few events in September, including one big event of rain. The inconvenience with this is that we receive a large amount of rainfall in a short period of time and this causes the soil to get saturated and in consequence we have increase in runoff and floods. This was the case of the Mid-September event, in which we received input from the remnants of hurricane Odile (Last week rainfall events-hurricane Odile).
The following maps show the precipitation totals during Monsoon Season for New Mexico State, Albuquerque, and Las Cruces, NM.
|Map 1: New Mexico total precipitation during Monsoon Season. Mapped by Yizhi Zhao from NM State Climatologist Office.|
Map 2: Rainfall across Albuquerque area during Monsoon Season. Mapped by Yizhi Zhao from NM State Climatologist Office.
|Map 3: Rainfall across Las Cruces Area during Monsoon Season. Mapped by Yizhi Zhao from NM State Climatologist Office.|
The following graphs show accumulated precipitation for Albuquerque and Las Cruces.
Figure 1: Accumulated Precipitation. Weather station: Albuquerque International Airport, NM. Graph from scacis.rcc-acis.org.
Figure 2: Accumulated Precipitation. Weather station: Las Cruces Municipal Airport, NM. In September 15th-18th, hurricane Odile and moisture from the remnants produced heavy rainfall and caused flooding over the Baja California area and the southwestern United States. The weather station in Las Cruces Municipal Airport registered almost three inches of rainfall for this event. Graph from scacis.rcc-acis.org.
According to the 2014 North American Monsoon (NAM) Outlook for central and northern New Mexico, a key factor that influenced this Monsoon season was the massive volume of anomalously warm water in the equatorial Pacific Region (2014 North American Monsoon (NAM) Outlook for central and northern New Mexico).
Although these rainfall events caused flood and difficulties, is important to mention that it, by the other side, improved the drought conditions is some zones of New Mexico (Last week rainfall events-hurricane Odile).