Monday, February 13, 2006

Drought Numbers

Santa Fe's reservoir system is at 58%. Ordinarily we might think, 'It will fill up when the snow melts,' but there's no snow.

Some of the discouraging places to look at the situation are :

  • What we really need to know is what the SNOTEL machines know. Here's a graphic for the Quemazon snotel in the Jemez, and for the Santa Fe snotel (up by the radio towers on Tesuque Peak, elevation 11,445').
  • A summary Snow-Precipitation Update, current as of February 11, has the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range basins collectively at 21% of average, but the Santa Fe basin at 5% of average. Five percent.
  • The U. S. Drought Monitor graphic shows our region moving back up to level D2 (Severe) since last week.
  • The Seasonal Drought Outlook shows drought expected to intensify through April.
  • New Mexico Reservoir Storage is confusing. They've been refilling El Vado Reservoir...
  • There's a six-page PDF file from the National Weather Service in Albuquerque, Drought Status for January 2006 which says that in early January the snow pack in the Sangre de Cristos was 23% of normal.water supply outlook
  • A Water Supply Outlook map from National Resources Conservation Service for February 1 shows our area at under 50% of normal (that's the red region on the image at right.)
  • The quick glance forecast for Rio Grande flow at Otowi Bridge for the period March-July is forecast to be 40% of average.

We found an interesting website, North American Drought: A PaleoPerspective, that includes a 2000-year rainfall reconstruction for New Mexico.

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