Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting a meet and greet at NMSU with Henry Reges, the national coordinator for CoCoRaHS.  Mr. Reges gave a short talk about how CoCoRaHS started and why it's important.  He showed us the CoCoRaHS recruiting video and afterwards mentioned how happy he is with the number of active observers in Las Cruces.  Further, he shared the exciting news that CoCoRaHS is working to expand into Mexico.

To emphasize the importance of collecting data, he stated that CoCoRaHS data doesn't sit on a "shelf" somewhere.  Instead, federal/state agencies, researchers, and companies use the data.  Finally, he stressed that, while CoCoRaHS should be a fun activity to participate in, it also provides a valuable service to our communities.

Dr. Dave DuBois, the New Mexico State Climatologist, then gave a presentation about the largest precipitation event in Las Cruces, occurring in 1935.  On August 29th and 30th, rainfall measured at the New Mexico State Agricultural College began at 11:05PM and by 2:00AM had reached 5.85".  Flood water began flowing into the city shortly after 1:00AM and the city was inundated in an hour.  Water depth reached 4 feet over most of the residential area and 100 houses were destroyed.  At the end of the event, the gauge recorded 6.49" of precipitation.  He then fast forwarded to a 2010 event, where the NMSU Coop station recorded 3.34" of precipitation.  The 2010 event was the third largest recorded precipitation event in Las Cruces.

We'd like to thank everyone for coming to the event and participating in our conversation about CoCoRaHS and climate in general.  For more information on CoCoRaHS or to join, visit

Friday, August 10, 2012

Congratulations to Mr. John Jekielek of McGaffey for getting the Benjamin Franklin Length of Service award for more than 55 years of taking observations as a NWS Cooperative observer!  The link to this award was posted on the Albuquerque NWS webpage recently.  Jekielek has operated the MCGAFFEY 5 SE station since May of 1956. Below is a scan of the May 1956 report at the McGaffey 5 SE station.
Franklin was the first U.S. Postmaster General and instructed other postmasters to record the weather.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

July climate highlights

For the state of New Mexico the month of July was the 40th driest on record. We averaged 1.98 inches as a state in July compared to the 20th century average of 2.43". A few areas were fortunate to receive well above normal precipitation such as in the San Juan Mountains and around the Valles Caldera. The northeastern portion of the state did not see much rain as the map below shows. This map is from the NOAA AHPS website. Most of the southwestern part of the state recorded below average rain last month.
The first 7 months of 2012 were the 8th driest on record.  I saw this morning that the CPC daily climate headline says that the "onset of El Nino is likely to be seen during Aug-Sep-Oct." similar to previous forecasts.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

CoCoRaHS Volunteers: Meet national coordinator Henry Reges in Las Cruces

We are pleased to announce a meet and greet with CoCoRaHS national coordinator Henry Reges next Thursday, August 16th. The event will be held on the main campus of New Mexico State University in Las Cruces in room W100 of Gerald Thomas Hall. It begins at 7 pm.

New Mexico CoCoRaHS volunteers are invited to attend.You'll get to meet or reintroduce yourself to Mr. Reges, New Mexico state coordinator Dave DuBois, and other volunteers from the area. A short talk and refreshments will be provided.

CoCoRaHS volunteers who are interested in attending can click on the following link for more information: Meet and Greet Flyer.

We hope to see our CoCoRaHS volunteers there!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Climate Maps Now Available

The NM Climate Center has recently made available a collection New Mexico climate maps.  Using a straightforward interface, users can view maps of precipitation and temperature in the state from 30 days to 36 months into the past.  To use this product, go to the climate center's home page and click the NM Climate Maps link on the left.  On that page, you'll see a precipitation map for the past 30 days in New Mexico.  From there, choose what you're interested in above the current map (Precipitation, Max/Min/Mean Temperatures), then choose a map option to the left of the current map, and then finally choose how far into the past you want to look via the links to the right of the current map.

These maps are generated by our partners at the Western Regional Climate Center using data from NWS cooperator stations.  Using the cooperator stations is ideal for this product because the period of record is so long for most of the stations in the network.  It is our hope that this product will help you visualize our current climatic conditions in New Mexico.