New Mexico Severe Weather Climatology
Tornado Information
A complete historical tornado record dates back to 1950, though there are sparse reports of tornadoes prior. Interestingly, the number of  tornado reports have not substantially increased during the 1980-2009 period over the 1950-1979 period despite increasing education and awareness.  Many reasons could account for this, including a vast unpopulated area, and rare tornado occurrences across western New Mexico. For the 30-year period ending in 2009, an average of 10 tornadoes occurred in New Mexico each year, and most were across the eastern plains.  However, there has been considerable year-to-year variability.  Most New Mexico tornadoes are relatively weak, and occurred in the afternoon and evening hours in the spring months.  However, tornadoes can occur at any time.  The graphs below illustrate New Mexico's tornado history.  Please note: F? indicates an unknown F-Scale. Click on any image for a larger version.
New Mexico Tornado Events by F-ScaleNew MexicoTornado Events by Hour
New Mexico Tornado Events by MonthNew Mexico Tornado Events by Year
Tornado Events by CountyNew Mexico Tornado Fatalities and Injuries by F-Scale
 
Top 10 Deadliest/Injurious NM Tornadoes Since 1950
 
Hail Information
Unlike tornadoes, the number of severe hail reports in New Mexico have greatly increased over the climatological 30-year period.  Between 1955 and 1979, the average number of hail reports per year was 11, whereas, between 1980 and 2009, the average number of hail reports is 99. The jump in reports largely occurred after the WSR-88D was installed and forecasters could better narrow down an area to search for hail reports. For the 10-year period ending in 2013, the average number of severe hail reports per year has risen to just over 160.

Prior to January 5, 2010, severe hail was categorized as anything 0.75" or greater, or roughly hail the size of a penny or larger. For consistency, the graphs below include hail greater than or equal to 0.75" through 2012. Click on any graph for a larger version.
New Mexico Hail Events by SizeNew Mexico Hail Events by Hour
New Mexico Hail Events by MonthBernalillo County Hail Events by Size

Hail Events by CountyMore Hail Statistics:

Percentage of Hail Events by County

Hail Distributions by Size and County

Individual County Based Climatology of Large Hail

Hail Distributions by Month and County

Hail Distributions by Season and County

 

 
Severe Thunderstorm Wind Gust Information
Severe thunderstorm winds include gusts greater than or equal to 58 mph (or 50KT). Many of these gusts are estimated by trained spotters since anemometers are not installed everywhere that storms occur.  Between 1979 and 2009, an average of 26 thunderstorm wind events were reported. However, for the 10 year period ending in 2013, an average of 55 thunderstorm wind events have been reported. Click on a graph below for a larger version.
New Mexico Thunderstorm Wind Events by HourNew Mexico Thunderstorm Wind Events by Month
 Thunderstorm Wind Events by County
 
Flash Flooding Information
Flash flooding is most common in the summer months during the monsoon. In fact, two-thirds of flash floods occur in the month of July and August alone.  Flash flooding is very dangerous and deceptive because flash flooding can occur in areas where it didn't rain.  Most weather related fatalities occur due to flash flooding. Click on the graphs below for a larger version.
New Mexico Flash Flood Events by HourNew Mexico Flash Flood Events by Month
 Flash Flood Events by County
 
Fatalities/Injuries
Most weather related fatalities and injuries can be avoided if the proper precautions are taken. Next to lightning, injuries due to a tornado are most common, though 100 of those injuries occurred in only 4 events. In other words, there are many tornadoes that occur that cause no fatalities or injuries. However, in most of these cases the tornado occurs over open rangeland. In general, the chance of tornado injuries and fatalities increase as tornado strength increases (see above).  Most fatalities occur with lightning, though flash flooding is a close 2nd. Lightning fatalities generally occur with the first or last strike in a storm, when people outside are unaware that a storm is approaching, or return to their outside activities before the storm has completely exited the area.  Click on the graph below for more statistics.
Weather Related Fatalities/Injuries
 
 

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