National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 Northwestern Plateau
December-January-February Precipitation

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On average, the relationship between La Niña and below normal precipitation in New Mexico is strongest in the southwest corner of the state and weakest in northern portions of the state, particularly along the Colorado border. Our two stations in northwest New Mexico support this pattern.  Winter precipitation in Aztec, located in extreme northern New Mexico, does not exhibit a strong signal of reduced precipitation during La Niña events.  To the south, Chaco Canyon does show a reduction in precipitation, mainly during the strong La Niña events. 

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

winter precip for aztec during la nina events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all La Niña Events = 97% , for strong La Niña Events = 104%
winter precip for chaco canyon during la nina events 
Percent of Longterm Average for all La Niña Events = 78%  , for strong La Niña Events = 65% 

Precipitation values for 3-month periods during 19 La Niña 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 La Niña Event was considered to be strong are colored in purple.  "M" represents a 3-month period with missing data.  Finally, the percents of longterm normal for all La Niña events and for the strong La Niña events are listed below each graph.