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New Mexico Science

Science, climate, weather and water from a New Mexico perspective

Grim Rio Grande Forecast for 2013

January 2013 drought outlook
January 2013 drought outlook
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It’s still early in the season, but the first Rio Grande runoff forecast of 2013 doesn’t look good. There’s still a lot of uncertainty at this point, depending on how wet (or dry) the next few months are. But based on the snowpack to date, the median forecast:

  • at Otowi, between Santa Fe and Los Alamos: 47 percent of the 30 year average (1981-2010)
  • at San Marcial, at the head of Elephant Butte Reservoir: 37 percent of average

There are large uncertainties about the forecast this early in the season, because so much depends on whether we have a wet late winter and spring. But the latest federal drought forecast, issued last Thursday, offers little hope:

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