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Water Supply Forecast for February 2014

Contact: NWS - Chuck Jones (505) 244-9148
NRCS – Wayne Sleep (505) 761-4431



Coordinated Release: National Weather Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service


Decent snowfall in the higher northern terrain of New Mexico in November gave way to a below normal December and a much below normal January. This has produced a mostly below normal snowpack over New Mexico as we head toward the second half of the 2013-2014 snowpack season.


This water supply forecast reflects the overall poor snowpack so far as well as a storm track that would only intermittently target portions of northern New Mexico. A significant shift in the weather pattern at the end of January has brought intermittent snow to the mountains of New Mexico through the first week of February, but there are already signs that we will return to a drier weather pattern by the middle of February.


Forecast flows for the Rio Grande include 50 percent of normal into Cochiti Lake and 30 percent at Elephant Butte Lake. Other Rio Grande Basin reservoir forecast inflows include 48 percent of normal at El Vado Lake and 26 percent of normal at Jemez Canyon Reservoir. Inflow to Santa Rosa Lake is expected to be 31 percent of normal while in the San Juan Basin, Navajo Reservoir is expecting 82 percent of normal inflow.


Precipitation across New Mexico during January 2014 was well below normal and may end up being the driest January on record. Water Year 2014 precipitation, October 2013 through January 2014, has been below normal.


Surveys by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service indicate that snowpack water content in the Rio Grande Basin as of February 1 was 56 percent of normal and 73 percent of one year ago. In the San Juan Basin the snowpack water content was 84 percent of normal and 101 percent of the total of February 1, 2013.


The prospect for a normal spring snowmelt runoff across New Mexico is diminishing. There is also the concern for another warm, dry and windy spring season. ENSO (El Niño–Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are expected to persist through the 2014 spring. In addition, long range forecasts continue to trend toward drier (and warmer) than normal conditions, especially over the southwest half of New Mexico.


Storage capacity on the Rio Grande Basin in New Mexico is only 32 percent of the 30 year average and 114 percent of the storage levels from February 1, 2013. In the San Juan basin, Navajo Reservoir storage is 74 percent of the 30 year normal and 102 percent of the storage of one year ago.


This water supply forecast reflects conditions as of February 1, 2014 and assumes near to below normal precipitation through the rest of the winter and into the spring.

                                                                                                                   

SNOTEL Data

  February 1, 2014 1981-2010 Median
  Water Content Water Content
SNOTEL Site... Inches Inches
Chamita 3.2 6.5
Red River 3.4 5.0
Cumbres Trestle 12.4 15.5
Wolf Creek Summit 15.6 20.6

 

 

New Mexico Water Supply Forecast - February 1, 2014

STREAM AND STATION

San Juan Basin

 

Forecast Coordinated with NRCS

30-Year Avg
(1981-2010)
1000 AF

Forecast
Period

Forecast
1000 AF

% of 30
Year Avg

Navajo Reservoir Inflow

(San Juan River)

April - July 600 82 735

Vallecito Reservoir Inflow (Colorado)

(Los Pinos River)

April - July 175 90 194

Durango, Colorado

(Animas River)

April - July 380 92 415

     Rio Grande Basin

 

Del Norte (near), Colorado

April - Sept

435

84

515

 

Otowi Bridge, New Mexico

March – July

360

50

720

 

San Marcial, New Mexico

March - July

154

30

510

Mogote (near), Colorado

(Conejos River)

April - Sept

144

74

194

El Vado Reservoir Inflow, New Mexico

(Rio Chama)

March - July

107

48

225

Chamita (near), New Mexico

(Rio Chama)

March - July

135

43

312

Pecos (near), New Mexico

(Pecos River)

March - July

26

46

57

Santa Rosa Reservoir Inflow, New Mexico

(Pecos River)

March - July

17.4

31

56

     Canadian Basin

Conchas Reservoir Inflow, New Mexico

(Canadian River)

March - June

12.4

41

30

(30 yr median)