Friday, July 3, 2015

July 4th, 2014 Precipitation and temperatures in New Mexico.

The 4th of July is just around the corner and with that, all the cookouts and parties. Below you will find last year's temperature and precipitation data, as well as normals and extremes for several locations in New Mexico.  As I’m sure you have noticed, we don't get lots precipitation in New Mexico on the 4th, however we do get some. Last year we got very little rain or none at all on the 4th of July, and in many cities, 2014 has been the year with the lowest precipitation in record for the 4th of July.  Having no precipitation is usually something we are not very happy about, but considering all the festivities that come with that specific date it is good news. Hopefully we will not be getting any rain this year so we can celebrate the 4th of July with our typical barbeques. In temperature July 4th, 2014 did not differ much from normal. It is usually a hot sunny day but we should be used to it in New Mexico.

The data is collected from NWS Coop weather stations and since these stations are usually manually read in the mornings, I used July 5th data to get the maximum temperature and total precipitation data.  To get the minimum temperature data, I used July 4th.  Data is retrieved from

Have a Happy 4th of July.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Las Cruces Firework safety and instructions 

June is coming to an end, here comes July, people are getting ready for some of the best fun of the summer season. The month starts off with a bang July 4th, we celebrate the great country we live in with fireworks, barbeque, family and friends. Living in New Mexico means that we have to be especially careful not to start any fires while celebrating Independence Day, many areas of the state are very dry. There are certain rules and regulations on lighting fireworks in New Mexico and they differ depending on where you live in the state. Before lighting any fireworks check with the county you live in to see what is and is not allowed. Firework stands have to abide by the local laws so buy local and shoot the fireworks off in the same county you bought them in. I’ve gone ahead and looked into what is being allowed in the Las Cruces city limits as well as Dona Ana county. The fireworks that can be bought and sold are ground and hand held sparkling and smoking devices only. Examples of some of these fireworks are cone fountains, crackling devices, cylindrical fountains, flitter sparklers, illuminator torches, smoke devices, and wheels (Ramirez S.). Things that are not allowed are aerial fireworks (the ones that shoot into the sky); aerial spinners, roman candles, helicopters, chargers, and firecrackers (Ramirez S.). This year firework stands will be inspected more to ensure that local laws are enforced (Ramirez S.) and firework sales end July 6th. When lighting your own fireworks, try to only light them on paved areas or barren land, make sure to have water available in case a fire does occur, and by no means should children (under 16) be left unsupervised with fireworks around (Ramirez S.). Make sure to light fireworks one at a time, and never light off fireworks if you are inebriated (toasted, drunk, borracho, loaded or otherwise impaired)(Ramirez S.)

If you don’t want to buy and light off your own fireworks for the 4th there are some great events you can attend locally to celebrate. Concerts and fireworks will be held in Las Cruces at the public schools sports complex also known as the field of dreams (Las Cruces events). There is parking available at Mayfield high school, Picacho middle school, and at the stadium (Las Cruces events). Do not bring your RV’s, trailers, personal fireworks, grills, or pets as none are allowed. This is a free event and all are encouraged to attend the activities going on throughout the day. Youth activities start at noon and when day turns to night the evening is completed by a firework display at 10 (Las Cruces events). Make sure to be safe and have fun on this 4th of July!      



Ramirez, S. (n.d.). Fireworks sales for Fourth of July holiday begin Saturday. Retrieved June 23, 2015.

Las cruces events calendar. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2015.

Monday, May 4, 2015

May 4, 2015

I spent two great days at the Mescalero Apache School at their second annual student STEM conference. I was invited by Mike Montoya to give a series of climate change talks to a bunch of high schoolers from all over the region. The students were mainly from tribal schools and some came from as far as Flagstaff and Cuba, NM. The fair started off with a speech from retired Commander John Herrington who flew on the Shuttle Endeavour (STS-113) and did a space walk to install parts of the International Space Station. The students and staff at the school did a great job in running the conference and made it enjoyable.
In total I gave 7 talks and answered a bunch of questions. More than half of them said that they had a course in environmental sciences at their school. I tested them on their knowledge of basic things like the greenhouse effect and while most of them knew of it, the majority couldn't give any details on how it worked. Hopefully I improved their knowledge by the end of the conference.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Our office is going to be co-hosting the 13th Annual Climate Prediction Applications Science Workshop (CPASW) at NMSU on March 24-26.  This will bring together climate researchers, information producers, and users to share developments in research and applications of climate predictions for societal decision-making. The workshop theme is "Climate and Drought Information for Food Resilience, Agriculture, and Water Resources.“
Student registration is $25 and regular is $175. Visit our website for more information:

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Last Week's Winter Storm

Much of New Mexico experienced winter weather last week as a winter storm made it's way across the state.  Snow began to develop in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico on the evening of the 20th, continuing on the 21st and finally affecting the Southern part of New Mexico on the 22nd.

The NM Department of Transportation reported several closures over multiple highways across the state.  Schools were also affected.  According to NM news sources, over 90 schools were affected by last week's storm.  Here in Las Cruces, NMSU was closed at 10AM and the Las Cruces Public Schools let out early, allowing staff to leave after 1PM.

Weather station data from last week's storm shows that many locations across New Mexico recorded heavy snowfall.  Other locations saw none at all.  The following map shows CoCoRaHS snowfall amounts across the state.

Although the State Climatologist, Dr. Dave DuBois, was out of town during the storm, the staff at the climate center was able to capture images of the storm as it passed through Las Cruces.

The NMSU weather station taken by Rebecca Britt-Armenta

Another view of the NMSU weather station by Rebecca Britt-Armenta
A neighborhood in Las Cruces by Stanley Engle
Another neighborhood in Las Cruces by Antonio Arredondo

On Another Note

Several weeks ago, the students and staff of the NM Climate Center attended the American Meteorological Society's Annual Meeting in Phoenix, AZ.  This year the theme of the conference was "Fulfilling the Vision of Weather, Water, and Climate Information for Every Need, Time, and Place." We arrived early on the weekend prior to the start of the full meeting to take the Python short course.  As a Python programmer already, I attended the advanced Python short course, while my colleagues, Dr. Dave DuBios, Yizhi Zhao, and Rebecca Britt-Armenta attended the beginner course.

Rebecca and Yizhi learning Python by Dr. Dave DuBois
Every year the conference reaches out to the community by holding a WeatherFest where weather and atmospheric sciences are promoted. This year looked very successful and many kids and their parents attended the event. Here are a few photos from WeatherFest.

On the first Monday of the meeting, I attended the Fifth Symposium on Advances in Modeling and Analysis Using Python.  The major takeaway from this symposium is that Python is here to stay in the atmospheric sciences.  Later on Monday, we attended the exhibit presentations to see the latest and greatest technology available for the atmospheric sciences.
A Davis Vantage Pro2 weather station by Stanley Engle

Of course, one of the most popular exhibits is the NOAA Science on a Sphere.  This would be a good place to get a group picture.
Rebecca, Dave, Stan and Yizhi at AMS Annual Meeting 2015
Unfortunately, I had to leave after Monday, but Dr. DuBois, Yizhi and Rebecca stayed for a few more days.  Rebecca found that the most interesting experience at AMS was attending several talks.  A few noteworthy presentations included those in the "Global Warming Hiatus" on the first day of the conference and several sessions on the National Climate Assessment. Dr. DuBois gave the talk A perspective on drought information services at a state climate office.  According to Rebecca, about 30 meeting attendees listened to his presentation.  Below is a view of that presentation.