Water Supply Forecast for May 2014

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, a much below normal to non-existent January and mostly below normal February. March was better, but still below normal. April brought close to normal snowfall to the northern mountains, but this was a case of too little too late for the 2014 snowpack season, as mild and windy weather occurred between storms.

This water supply forecast reflects the overall poor snowpack as well as a storm track that would only intermittently target portions of northern New Mexico.

Forecast flows for the Rio Grande include 29 percent of normal into Cochiti Lake and only 2 percent into Elephant Butte Lake! Other Rio Grande Basin reservoir forecast inflows include 32 percent of normal at El Vado Lake and just 16 percent of normal at Jemez Canyon Reservoir. Inflow to Santa Rosa Lake is expected to be just 14 percent of normal while in the San Juan Basin, the Navajo Reservoir is expecting 58 percent of normal inflow.

Precipitation across New Mexico during April 2014 was close to normal. Water Year 2014 precipitation, October 2013 through April 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 May 1 was 37 percent of the median almost the same as one year ago. In the San Juan Basin the snowpack water content was 65 percent of the median and 154 percent of the total of March 1, 2013.

Spring snowmelt runoff across New Mexico was below to well below normal. ENSO (El Niño–Southern Oscillation) neutral conditions in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are expected to persist through the rest of the 2014 spring. In addition, long range forecasts continue to trend toward warmer than normal conditions. On the optimistic side, models and forecasters continue to predict, with more and more confidence, the development of an El Nino during the summer. This would likely bode well for New Mexico during the 2014-2015 winter and springs seasons.

Current storage capacity on the Rio Grande Basin in New Mexico only averages 15 percent, and at this point in 2013 storage capacity was just 13 percent. In the San Juan basin, Navajo Reservoir was 62 percent on May 1PstP, which was 113 percent of last year.

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


  May 1, 2014 1981-2010 Median
  Water Content Water Content
SNOTEL Site... Inches Inches
Chamita 0.0 0.0
Red River 0.0 0.0
Cumbres Trestle 13.5 24.6
Wolf Creek Summit 19.7 estimate 3


New Mexico Water Supply Forecast - May 1, 2014


San Juan Basin


Forecast Coordinated with NRCS

30-Year Avg
1000 AF


1000 AF

% of 30
Year Avg

Navajo Reservoir Inflow

(San Juan River)

April - July 425 58 735

Vallecito Reservoir Inflow (Colorado)

(Los Pinos River)

April - July 167 86 194

Durango, Colorado

(Animas River)

April - July 345 83 415

Rio Grande Basin


Del Norte (near), Colorado

April - Sept





Otowi Bridge, New Mexico

March – July

210 29



San Marcial, New Mexico

March - July

7.8 2


Mogote (near), Colorado

(Conejos River)

April - Sept

116 60


El Vado Reservoir Inflow, New Mexico

(Rio Chama)

March - July

72 32


Chamita (near), New Mexico

(Rio Chama)

March - July

75 24


Pecos (near), New Mexico

(Pecos River)

March - July

20 35


Santa Rosa Reservoir Inflow, New Mexico

(Pecos River)

March - July

7.8 14


Canadian Basin

Conchas Reservoir Inflow, New Mexico

(Canadian River)

March - June




(30 yr median)