National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
Climatological Spring Runoff Data
New Mexico & Southern Colorado

The amount of water locked up in snowpack across the western United States is an extremely important contribution to the health of annual streamflow. Data available from the NRCS SNOTEL network, along with other meteorological and hydrological variables from federal and state agencies, provide valuable information to a complex system of models that develop water supply forecasts for the spring and early summer months. Predictions of the amount and timing of peak streamflow discharge are a critical component to water resource management in the desert southwest. Scientists often analyze the climatology of complex natural systems to better understand how the current conditions will impact the overall system. The lives of millions of people are dependent upon this highly valuable natural resource.

The feature below illustrates daily median discharge curves obtained from the USGS time-series of daily statistics for select river gage locations across New Mexico and southern Colorado. Current streamflow conditions for all available sites within New Mexico can be obtained by visiting the USGS streamflow tables. A more interactive display of current data can be obtained by visiting the NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (AHPS) web page. Several locations across southern Colorado were also included in this feature as there are significant contributions to New Mexico's water supply from Colorado. Daily mean discharge data for some of these sites was obtained from the Colorado Division of Water Resources

The vast majority of locations across northern New Mexico and far southern Colorado experience their peak runoff during mid to late May while areas across the south typically see peak runoff from March through April. Click on a location indicated by the yellow triangle in the map below to view long-term climatological discharge curves for select locations across New Mexico and southern Colorado. A tabular view for each location is available at the bottom of this page. The table also includes peak discharge values for select locations for the entire period of available data. The period of record for the median discharge curves may be shorter than the long-term record for some sites due to data availability.

Map of New Mexico With Select Runoff Locations

The table below details runoff statistics for select locations across New Mexico and southern Colorado, including; peak median discharge, long-term peak median date, all-time peak discharge, and all-time peak discharge date.
Median Runoff Statistics
(Current AHPS data is available for sites with links)
(Period of Record)
Peak Median
Long-Term Peak Median Date Peak Discharge (CFS) Peak Discharge Date
Animas River Durango
2,990 June 2nd 25,000 October 5,
Piedra River near Arboles
1,330 May 22nd 8,370 September 6,
Animas River Farmington
2,960 June 4th 25,000 June 29,
Azotea Tunnel near Chama
692 June 4th -- --
Rio Grande near Del Norte
3,350 June 4th 18,000 October 5,
Conejos River near Mogote
1,440 June 4th -- --
Costilla Creek near Costilla
110 May 22nd 1,150 May 11,
Red River near Questa
136 May 30th 886 May 25,
Rio Pueblo de Taos
Los Cordovas
161 May 17th 2,380 August 24,
Rio Grande at Embudo
1,590 May 31st 16,200 June 19,
Embudo Creek near Dixon
284 May 16th 4,200 August 29,
Rio Chama at La Puente
1,930 May 15th 11,200 May 28,
Rio Grande at
Otowi Bridge

3,570 May 24th 24,400 May 23,
Jemez River near

201 May 8th 4,540 July 15,
Rio Grande at ABQ
3,410 May 23rd 25,000 April 24,
Rio Grande San

2,020 May 26th 8,110 May 11,
Pecos River near Pecos
364 May 25th 4,500 September 21,
Rio Ruidoso at Hollywood
25 Apr 16th 3,400 July 27,
Gila River near Gila
191 Mar 17th 35,200 December 28,