2014 Water Year Precipitation
2013 Calendar Year Precipitation
 October - December 2013
January - December 2013
thumbnail graphic of water year precipitation through December 2013
thumbnail graphic of water year precipitation through December 2013
Calendar Year

Calendar year 2013 average statewide precipitation (January - December 2013) ended up at 98 percent of normal, a big improvement over the past two years.  The near normal precipitation was primarily due to just two months: July and especially September. The Central Valley averaged 111 percent of normal. Meanwhile, the Southeast Plains Division averaged 90 percent of normal.

December 2013 was below normal nearly statewide as precipitation dwindled as the month went on.

Water Year

Water Year 2014 average statewide precipitation (October 2013-December 2013) was 85 percent of normal. The northern mountains have fared the best at 124 percent of normal while the southern deserts have only averaged 40 percent of normal. Precipitation in November 2013 was generally above normal while December 2013 saw below normal precipitation totals most locations.  Precipitation, mainly in the form of snow, favored the Northern Mountains while the southern and eastern tiers of the state generally missed out on late fall and early winter precipitation resulting in a dry start to the water year.

A tabular summary of the precipitation data is available in pdf format.

Precipitation ranks for a number of periods, are available from NCDC

Upcoming changes for 2014

For many years, we have been producing calendar year and water year precipation and percent of long term average maps using 56 reliable observation sites across New Mexico.  These maps produced an overview of precipitation, but lacked in spatial and temporal detail.

We are now developing maps that blend data from our 56 "reliable" sites and the NWS/AHPS precipitation analyses. For the AHPS analyses, 24-h precipitation estimates are obtained using a multi-sensor  approach combining gauge observations with radar derived precipitation.  Two techniques are used in New Mexico.  East of the continental divide, hourly precipitation estimates from WSR-88D radars are compared to ground rainfall gauge reports, and a bias is calculated then applied to the radar field. The radar estimates and observations are combined then qualitiy controlled. In areas where there is limited or no radar coverage, satellite precipitation estimates (SPE) can be incorporated. In areas west of the Continental Divide, gauge reports are plotted against long term climatologic precipitation (PRISM data), and derived amounts are interpolated between gauge locations.

While these analyses provide more spatial and temporal detail than can be obtained from guage observations alone, errors can still be introduced due to radar data and guage errors as well as horizontal accuracy errors. This is especially true in New Mexico and other areas of the intermountain west where there are areas with poor radar coverage due to beam blockage or distance from the radar. Thus, values are underestimated east of the Sandia Mountains in central New Mexico and east of the Capitan and Guadalupe Mountain in southern New Mexico, as well as the extreme northeast, northwest and southwest portions of the state.

In the example to the right, observed precipitation values for calendar year 2013 are plotted and the percent of normal NWS/AHPS percent of normal grid is displayed using a color curve similar to our legacy graphics.  A plot of observed values with the precipitation analysis is also available.

More details about the precipitation analyses including the observed and normal precipitation grids are available.

calendar year precip obs and analysis 

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.