National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 Southern Desert
December-January-February Precipitation

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The odds are shifted toward increased precipitation during an El Niño event, and the relationship between El Niño and above normal precipitation in New Mexico is strongest in the southwest corner of the state.  It is here where we see some of the greatest increases in winter precipitation. Las Cruces had above average precipitation during all strong El Niño episodes, with 188% of normal, while Lordsburg  reported above normal precipitation during all but one strong events, with an average of 179%.  


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

winter precip for lordsburg during el nino events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 152% , for strong El Niño Events = 179%
winter precip for las cruces during el nino events 
 Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 151%, for strong El Niño Events = 188%

Precipitation values for 3-month periods during 18 El Niño Events since 1949-1950 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.