Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Puzzled By The Dissonance Regarding NM Snowpack

This article is pretty optimistic, but the Western Regional Climate Center maps show an average sort of winter. I wonder which narrative will win out?:


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A soggy weekend set rainfall records in Albuquerque and other New Mexico cities and added to a healthy snowpack shaping up in the state’s northern mountains.

High water content in the snowpack in New Mexico and Colorado bodes well for the spring runoff later this year.

“The snowpack is doing well,” National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Guyer said Monday. “So we’re going to have some runoff, finally.”

A good snowpack is welcome news, because New Mexico hasn’t had a good runoff since 2010. Last year was among the warmest on record, and a dry, windy spring robbed the state of much of its snowpack.

...Albuquerque International Sunport received 0.66 inch of rain Sunday, beating the previous Jan. 15 record of 0.48 inch, set in 1895.

Roswell received 0.33 inch of rain Sunday, beating a 1924 record. And Clayton in far northwestern New Mexico got 0.65 inch, beating a 1980 record.

But snowpack remains the state’s best news.

High-elevation areas of northern and central New Mexico have normal or above-normal snowpack, but the southern mountains are lagging, Guyer said.

Snowpack in the San Juan Basin around Chama is 177 percent of normal, packing 15 inches of liquid water, he said.

New Mexico also will benefit from Colorado’s healthy snowpack, which should feed New Mexico streams and rivers this spring.

In the Cumbres Pass area of Colorado, north of Chama, the snowpack has 26 inches of liquid water, Guyer said.

“That’s a lot of water,” he said.

Snowpack in New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains is 150 percent of normal in some areas.

...The heaviest snowfall was recorded at the 10,000-foot Magdalena Ridge Observatory west of Socorro, which racked up at least 18 inches.

...Storm totals
Snowfall totals, Saturday and Sunday
Ski Santa Fe 15 inches
Ski Apache 14 inches
Sandia Peak Ski Area 14 inches
Angel Fire Resort 9 inches
Red River Ski Area 9 inches
Cuba 7 inches
Tucumcari 3 inches

Albuquerque rainfall totals, Saturday and Sunday
Coors and Coors Trail NW 1 inch
Arenal and Unser SW 0.98 inch
San Francisco and Barstow NE 0.98 inch
Constitution and Girard 0.98 inch
Irving and Golf Course NW 0.89 inch
Gibson and Carlisle SE 0.84 inch
Indian School and Tramway NE 0.84 inch

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