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Tracking the sputtering monsoon of 2009

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By Scot Johnson

The on-again, off-again monsoon continued in August. Rainfall from Aug. 12-14 and Aug. 23 -24 was clearly associated with monsoon conditions; moisture flow from the south and heat-triggered convection.

The rest of August was generally dry, although some mountain showers cropped up during the last few days of the month.

Even with the last-minute boost, however, the rainfall total for the month was about half of normal in both Los Alamos and White Rock.

Los Alamos received 1.66 inches of precipitation during August, 50 percent of the normal 3.33 inches. White Rock’s 0.95 inches was 45 percent of the normal 2.12 inches. Nearly all of New Mexico has had below normal precipitation during the monsoon this year.

The precipitation total for 2009 in Los Alamos is 13.25 inches of liquid equivalent so far. This is right on target, but the official Los Alamos rain bucket at TA-6 has been at the right place at the right time all year. More representative of the county’s overall precipitation total this year is White Rock’s 7.66 inches which is 85 percent of normal there.


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