Friday, September 26, 2014

Last week rainfall events-Hurricane Odile

During the past week, starting Tuesday 16th, Hurricane Odile and moisture from the remnants produced heavy rainfall and caused flooding over the Baja California area and the southwestern United States.  We had a significant amount of rain in a relatively short period of time. The soil quickly gets saturated and water starts to accumulate.  Here, in New Mexico, we do not have a lot of natural hazards but flooding tops out on the list and causes inconvenience.

Photo 1-Heavy runoff in North of Rodeo, NM. Photo by David DuBois

Photo 2-Heavy runoff in North of Rodeo, NM. Photo by David DuBois
Photo 3-Playa West of Lordsburg, NM. Photo by David DuBois

Flash flood concerned portions of Eastern New Mexico and Western Texas ,but at the same time it eased the droughts in some zones of the Southwest region, where some areas have been experiencing extreme to exceptional drought conditions.  The NM Drought Monitoring Work Group met past Tuesday, 23 of September, for their monthly meeting and they agree in modify the current U.S. Drought Monitor map for New Mexico. According to the Drought Summary from the National Weather Service, Albuquerque NM, drought was removed from portions of southeast New Mexico, but 63% of the state is still in moderate to extreme drought and 30% is still in severe to extreme drought. The none drought category increases from 3 to 16%, which reflects about 13% of improvement in Southwest of New Mexico (figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1: U.S. Drought Monitor Weekly Comparison. Left map shows data from September 16, 2014 and right map shows September 23, 2014.
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Figure 2: U.S. Drought Monitor for September 23, 2014.
Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Monsoon has been active late in the Monsoon season and provided moisture during the past weeks. Input from Hurricane Odile impulsed more humidity this last week.
 Time Lapse of the Organ Mountains on September 19, 2014. Video by D. DuBois

-Cristina Gonzalez