National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Severe Thunderstorm Threat Over The Eastern U.S., Critical Fire Weather Likely Over The Southwest

A cold front will bring the threat for scattered strong to severe thunderstorms from the Mid Atlantic to New England into Saturday morning. Some of the storms could produce damaging winds and locally heavy rainfall. Dangerously hot and dry conditions will persist over the Desert Southwest this weekend. Critical fire weather conditions likely. Read More >

 Northern Mountains
December-January-February Precipitation

(Return to Main Feature) or go to CD1 | CD3 | CD4 | CD5 | CD6 | CD7 | CD8 

While above normal precipitation is correlated to El Niño events across much of New Mexico, the relationship is weaker across the northern tier of the state and at high elevation stations. The tilt toward above average precipitation is not as pronounced in these areas.  High elevations sites are able to capture moisture from a variety of weather systems that track over our northern mountains and thus the anomalies associated with the ENSO cycle are more variable. The charts for climate division 2 illustrate more variability than other divisions. Considering only strong El Niños, the increase in precipitation during the winter months is actually reduced at some locations including values of  79% at Eagle Nest and 85% at Red River.  Precipitation at Las Vegas was greater than average during 4 of 7 strong El Niño events, with an average 131% of precipitation.  Las Vegas is located in the southern portion of the climate division, east of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, and at a lower elevation. 

A description of the graphs is located at the bottom of the page. 

winter precip for el vado dam during el nino events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 102% , for strong El Niño Events =102%
 
winter precip for eagle nest during el nino events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events =96%  , for strong El Niño Events = 79%
 
winter precip for raton during el nino events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 110% , for strong El Niño Events = 98%
 
winter precip for red river during el nino events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 95%, for strong El Niño Events = 85% 
 
winter precip for los alamos during el nino events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 110% , for strong El Niño Events =  113%
 
winter precip for santa fe during el nino events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 112%, for strong El Niño Events = 116%
 
winter precip for las vegas during el nino events 
 Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events =105%  , for strong El Niño Events = 131%
 

Precipitation values for 3-month periods during 18 El Niño Events since 1949-50 are plotted with respect to the long term precipitation average, listed to the right of the graph.  The precipitation totals for each 3-month period are plotted above or below each bar.  Years for which the El Niño Event was considered to be strong are colored in dark green. "M" represents a 3-month period with missing data.  Finally, the percents of long term normal for all El Niño events and for the strong El Niño events are listed below each graph.