Albuquerque July Precipitation: 2012 vs. 2013

Finally some rain! Most of the Albuquerque Metro area has seen some good rains this July. Unfortunately, much of the rainfall came fast and furious and caused multiple problems throughout the city. It was also not as beneficial as it could have been if it fell slower and over several days.

Since the only official station is at the Albuquerque Sunport, dedicated members of the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow (CoCoRaHS) Network help fill in the gaps across Albuquerque. Below are two maps showing the distribution of precipitation across Albuquerque for July 2012 and July 2013.  If you have visited this page over the last few years, this year you will notice the scale has changed to account for much larger rainfall totals this year than in the past few years.
 
ABQ July 2012 Precipitation ABQ July 2013 Precipitation

Legend

Legend

 July 2012  July 2013  
     
All of the Albuquerque Metro area received more precipitation than July 2012, and in some cases, significantly more.  In July of 2012, the highest precipitation total throughout the metro area was around 3 inches. This year, around half of the metro area received at least 3 inches and some areas received over 6 inches!   Portions of the North Valley and western Rio Rancho continue to be the driest areas, only receiving between 1.5 and 2 inches of rain. Nonetheless, this is still a vast improvement over last years totals of less than one half inch.
 
Much of the rainfall across Albuquerque came in five separate events.  The first was July 8th across the South Valley where 2 to 3 inches of rain prompted evacuations due to high water.  On July 14th, torrential rains developed across Albuquerque's west side which flooded portions of Unser Blvd.  During the late afternoon of the 19th, heavy rain producing storms plagued Albuquerque's east side. Between 1 and 2 inches of rain was common which caused a couple of man hole covers to be blown out of roadway from flash flooding around Spain and Eubank.  Additionally, a small sink hole developed at intersection of Copper and Juan Tabo.  July 26th brought back-to-back events to the Albuquerque Metro Area.  The first event came around midnight where 2.5 to 3 inches of rain fell across the town of Bernalillo as well as the northeast heights of Albuquerque. This storm also brought incredible amounts of dangerous but beautiful lightning. After a brief break, more torrential rainfall plagued central and eastern portions of the city during the evening hours.  For the calendar day, some locales picked up 4 to 5 inches of rain!
 
 Flooding along the Osuna Bike Notch on July 26th. Photo Courtesy of Kevin Troutman of the Albuquerque Metro Arroyo and Flood Control Authority
 
 
Since the monsoon has been sub-par the last couple of years, many people are comparing this July to that of 2006.  So, we decided to take a look! Using the same scale as the images above, it appears there are a few areas of northeast Albuquerque that received more precipitation this July than July 2006.  However, the vast majority of the metro area, especially portions of Rio Rancho, received much more precipitation in 2006.  It should be noted however, that there are many more CoCoRaHS observers today than there were in 2006, so some localized higher totals may not be represented well. ABQ July 2006 Precipitation

Legend

Legend

  July 2006  
 
Normal July precipitation at the Albuquerque Sunport is 1.50 inches.  This July, the Sunport received 2.77 inches - nearly double the normal amount and 1.88 inches greater than last year. Below are tables for the wettest and driest July's on record since 1897.  The 2.77 inches recorded this July makes it tied for the 9th wettest on record.
 
Top 5 Wettest July's Top 5 Driest July's
Precipitation Year Precipitation Year
4.45" 1930 0.08" 1980
4.12" 1919 0.13" 1900
3.55" 2006 0.14" 1958
3.38" 2008 0.15" 1920
3.33" 1968 0.19" 1935
 

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