Thursday, May 7, 2015

New Mexico Snowpack Melts Six Weeks Early

Atalaya in storm clouds
Beautiful rainy week in northern New Mexico. I love it when it's like this. Ever run in the foothills when you're literally ascending/descending through cloud banks? Bad AF. One time I was up there with clouds and fresh spring snow but the snow was saturated and melting and all the ravines and drainages were running and cascading like a Japanese garden. Top 5 all-time run that one.

So I was checking out the area river gauge data to get a sense of how much rainfall arrived this week, and I saw something unexpected that made me kinda grumpy. Yeah there's enough rain in this week's storms to bring the Rio up 500 cfs. But when you look at the 60 day graph you can see that the 44 year average (the yellow triangles) are showing that we ought to be at peak snowpack runoff right now. The blue line however shows that our snowpack burned off the last two weeks of March. Not cool. Beautiful weather we're having but June/July could be rough when our water is chilling down in Elephant Butte.

Here's the Santa Fe River data. Same story. No average trend line to compare but the melt in March is clear as day with a longer tail than the flow in the Rio. No mames buey.  

Related Posts:
 - RAIN - NM River Flows Spike to 30 Times Avg Flows (2013)
 - Snowpack at Santa Fe & Taos Fall Short (2014)
 - Arroyo Washout (2014)

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