2014 Water Year Precipitation 2014 Calendar Year Precipitation

Water year precip through July 2014 Calendar year precip through July 2014
Calendar Year and Water Year 2014

2014 finally produced an above normal precipitation month in July! Statewide average from the National Climatic Data Center was 134 percent of normal. However, New Mexico precipitaton remains below normal for the first seven months of 2014, with a statewide average of 81 percent of normal. The Northeast Plains Climate Division led the way with 96 percent of normal precipitation for the year, while the Southern Desert Climate Division trailed at just 53 percent of normal.

Water Year 2014 average statewide precipitation (October 2013-July 2014) is at 78 percent of normal. The Northern Mountains Climate Division was tops at 91 percent of normal precipitation while the Southern Desert Climate Division was again at the back of the pack at just 49 percent of normal.

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

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

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.

 mulit  mulit sensor percent of normal and observation percent of normal calendar year precipitation
This image depicts the multi-sensor precipitation estimates through July for various precipitation ranges (as shown in the legend) and observed station values from across the states.  The multi-sensor precipitation analyses continue to underestimate values in the extreme west, and show higher values than the  station observations for many locations across New Mexico. Here the percent of normal values at our observation sites are compared  to those of the multi-sensor analyses. The multi-sonsor percent of normal analyses illustrates generally higher values than those at our observation points, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley.

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