National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 Northwestern Plateau
March-April-May Precipitation

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On average, the relationship between El Niño and above normal precipitation in New Mexico increases across much of New Mexico from winter to spring, and that is certainly true at Aztec Ruins and Chaco Canyon.  However, since these stations are located in the northern section of the state, the precipitation increases are not as large as those noted across the southern tier of the state.  During the six strong El Niño events, precipitation is above normal during three of the events at both sites. Chaco Canyon experiences a wide-range of variability, but has 111% of normal precipitation for strong El Niño events. Aztec Ruins National Monument averages 117% of normal and 123% for strong El Niño events.  


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

winter precip for aztec during el nino events 
 Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events = 117%  , for strong El Niño Events = 123%
winter precip for chaco canyon during el nino events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all El Niño Events =  107% , for strong El Niño Events = 111%

Precipitation values for 3-month periods during the 18 El Niño starting in 1950. Events 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.