Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If you are interested in collecting rain and snow observations for us read on! We are going to hold a training workshop for the volunteer Community Collaborative Rain Hail and Snow network (CoCoRaHS) in Santa Fe on January 17 at the Santa Fe County Extension Office at 3229 Rodeo Road. It will start at 7 pm and probably go to about 8:30pm. Anyone is welcome at the workshop. All you have to bring is an interest in collecting precipitation at your home.  If you are not in the Santa Fe area let us know since we would like to schedule other training opportunities in NM.

To learn more about the CoCoRaHS network visit their website at

Friday, January 4, 2013

Decent snow amounts across the southern NM desert were observed from this past storm. This time focus was on the lower elevations and over the Sacramento Mountains. It turned out that very little snow fell in the Gila.  Below is the snow water equivalent change map produced by the National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center showing the extent of the snowfall over southern NM from this storm.
Peak snow depths in NM were found both in Las Cruces, Cloverdale, and in Cloudcroft. Four CoCoRaHS observers measured over 3 inches of snow in Las Cruces. Amounts up to 4 inches were observed in El Paso and Hudspeth Counties. Below is a snapshot of snow that accumulated on a leaf in my front yard. You can pick out individual dendritic flakes. The snow that fell at near my CoCoRaHS gauge had a 10:1 snow to water ratio. That's a pretty typical ratio.
For those of you who are CoCoRaHS participants, don't forget to take your funnel off when you expect snow to fall. This is important when we get a significant snow and will exceed the depth of the funnel top very quickly. If you are unsure of the procedures for measuring and reporting snow, please review the tutorials on how to measure snow. I've had to contact some observers and make some corrections today.  The national CoCoRaHS website has a good tutorial.  Today my gauge had about an inch of snow accumulating on the lip of the gauge and I used the swatter to settle it in the gauge. It is suggested to lightly push down on the pile on the rim. I gently tapped on it to let it fall naturally.
I think the most important thing is to have fun doing it.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Let it snow, let it snow! It was nice to wake up to a dusting of snow this morning in Las Cruces. We started out with a few areas receiving snow or at least light snow. The snow fell as little wet "snow-balls" and not much as flakes in Las Cruces. I took this photo at 8:30am on my windshield.
By 8:45 am most of southern NM was covered in a cold and moist airmass.

The forecast from the NWS is showing nearly 4 inches in the lower elevations in west Texas. This map was extracted using the new National Digital Forecast Database webpage that I just found out about.