National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 Southern Desert
March-April-May Precipitation

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Average precipitation in March-April-May is highest in the southwest and south central portion of the state, and it is here where increases (in terms of percent of normal) are generally highest in the state. During El Niño events, and especially strong events, spring precipitation can be much larger than normal. In Lordsburg, for example, spring precipitation in 1995 was almost four times that of the long term average.

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

spring precip for lordsburg during el nino events 
 Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 143%  , for strong El Niño Events = 218%
spring precip for las cruces during el nino events 
 Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 118% , for strong El Niño Events = 150%

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.