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Let it pour: December more wet than dry

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By Scot Johnson

December began warm and wet, and ended cold and dry, with winds considerably stronger than normal.Overall, wet won over dry with December’s monthly precipitation totaling three times the norm in Los Alamos and White Rock. Also, cold prevailed as the average temperature was about two degrees below normal, the lowest in comparison to the normal climate since last January. December began with a soaking as a slow-moving storm moved in from Baja California. One-and-one-quarter inches of rain fell in Los Alamos on Dec. 1, as much as came down the day before.By Dec. 2, the monthly total precipitation count was well above the normal 0.92 inches (liquid equivalent) in Los Alamos and 0.69 inches in White Rock. Disappointingly, the southerly flow was too warm to produce snow, even on Pajarito Mountain.But snow came shortly after, with another set of storms that spanned Dec. 7-11. The moisture again came from the south, as it so commonly does during heavy snowfall events. Almost 1.5 inches of liquid equivalent were counted over the five-day span in Los Alamos along with 9 inches of snow.Again, the warmth took a toll on the snowfall, as the ratio of snow to liquid equivalent was about six-to-one, where it is typically more like 10- or 15-to-one in December.By Dec.


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