8/26/22 Friday 7:20 am
Numerous scattered showers developed yesterday afternoon. Precipitation amounts ranged from a few hundredths to 1/4 of an inch. A weak wave moving through northern New Mexico has triggered mostly stratiform showers overnight and this morning across the forecast area. The models indicate this activity will continue through the day with a better chance of widespread showers and thunderstorms redeveloping this afternoon. As is always the case, cloud cover may limit afternoon convection.
I have gotten a number of emails this month asking if we set any precipitation records this summer and how has that helped the drought. The last time I got this many emails regarding excessive precipitation was during the spring of 2019 after our anomalously snowy winter.
We are not going to set any records this summer. After a very wet June and July August is likely to come in below average in many locations throughout the forecast area, but the June through August total will come in above average.
I have been encouraged to use data from the last 30 years rather than the previous 100 years. The reason I prefer using the older data is that it encompasses more meteorological cycles. If you look at the average summer and fall precipitation totals, we have been wetter over the last 30 years than the previous 100 years. I use Durango as a benchmark because the Western Regional Climate Center has records for Durango’s total precipitation back to 1894. The 5-month June through October average total precipitation (liquid equivalent) over the last 30 years is 9.22 inches. The previous 100 year (1894-1991) average total is 8.65 inches.
The 30-year data indicates September and October are our 2nd and 3rd wettest months of the year behind August. Let’s hope that is the case.
Here is the latest info on the drought. The fact that it has been wetter in Durango during the 5 months from June through October correlates well with NOAA’s own long-term drought data from 1895 to present. This data shows the anomalously dry periods in the US with warmer tones of yellow gold orange and red. While the colder tones of light green turquoise and blue indicate the anomalously wet periods. The percentage applies to the entire US. For example, in May 2019 82.3% of the US was abnormally wet.
Here is the drought monitor for Colorado back on June 16th of this year.
Here is the latest data released yesterday.
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2 thoughts on “Friday Update–Summer Progress Report And Drought Update”
My personal wish is that yo continue to the the 100 years data. Thank you
Interesting post. I am likely with everyone waking up this morning to more rain thinking “damn, this monsoon season has been wet, but how wet?”
Before I read your post this morning, I went to the USDA weather monitor for the Animas and Upper San Juan basins to see our precipitation. I looked at June 1 vs Sept 1 periods (interesting stat above on Sept and Oct): Versus the median gained precipitation, we are at 159% for both basins in the period.
From what I can tell since 2010 this is the wettest, and the next closest was 2015 at 144% of average.
The biggest monsoon season I can see is from 1999, which was at 220% of median.
The other thing to note is that as of June 1 the Animas basin was at 82% of average, and now stand at 97% of average.
Thanks for your posts and insights.