Forecasters: Recent rains still not enough

Staff and wire reports

New Mexico is seeing some late summer rainfall, but weather forecasters say it hasn’t been enough to make up for a year of drought.

Wednesday night’s downpour resulted in .68 inches of rain for Clovis, said Mark Fettig, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Albuquerque.

But the bad news is that rain accounts for more than 10 percent of Clovis’ total 2011 rainfall of 5.98 inches, and it doesn’t change the fact that the area is less than halfway to what would be considered normal rainfall up to this point.

By the time August concludes in an average year, Fettig said, Clovis receives 12.77 inches of rain. That same total at the end of September is 14.86 inches.

The rainfall Clovis has received this year, in an average year, would have been passed sometime around mid-June.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports that August proved helpful for the Santa Fe area’s moisture deficit. It also was one of the hottest months on record.

And NWS meteorologist Kerry Jones says Santa Fe is still more than 3 inches behind the average precipitation for the year.

Jones says this is the season when tropical storms come off of Baja California and sometimes create moisture-bearing troughs over the West Coast. Sometimes New Mexico lucks out and gets rain out of those storms in September and October.

Without substantial moisture from such storms, he says this could become the driest year on record.