severity of the 1942-79 drought annual precipitation minimums were recorded at Albuquerque (4.06 inches in 1956), Farmington (4.07 inches in 1950), Carlsbad (4.40 inches in 1956), and Glenwood (6.90 inches in 1956) (Kunkel, 1984). “May 1941 was easily the wettest May (in state history),” Jones said. In 1904, few gaging stations were in operation in New Mexico. “She broke off a branch and knocked two of the snakes into the water when they coiled and struck at her,” the story read. Bernalillo County provides a Map Information Service to lenders, insurance agents, mortgage companies and the general public with regard to the National Flood Insurance Program through the Floodplain Administrators office. Moderately widespread rainfall. Floods of both the Gila River near Redrock on December 19, 1978, and the Vermejo River near Dawson on June 9, 1988, had recurrence intervals between 75 and 100 years. Droughts are common in New Mexico. The floods listed are those having recurrence intervals greater than 25 years; the droughts listed are those having recurrence intervals greater than 10 years. According to a story in the Oct. 1 Journal, floodwaters from the Gila River forced McReynolds to climb into a tree, which she shared for 12 hours with three rattlesnakes. Figure 2. According to a Journal story, heavy rains and spring runoff caused Elephant Butte Reservoir to fill up to the spillway – at total of 1.83 million acre-feet of water – on June 29, 1941, the first time that had happened since the reservoir was built in 1916. It can be exceptionally dry, but also very wet. Or at least that’s the way it seemed. Snipes,R.J., and others, 1974, Floods of June 1965 in Arkansas River basin, Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1850-D, 97p. FOIA the same characteristics for droughts. This alert will expire at NaN. 2). McReynolds’ husband rescued her when he returned to the ranch. Figure 1. Records for some gaging stations indicate an almost continuous deficiency of streamflow throughout a given drought, whereas records for other stations may indicate 1 or more years when streamflow was average or greater than average during a drought. In addition to the floods previously described, severe flooding occurred in parts of the State on October 6, 1911 (water year 1912), June 29,1927, April 24,1942, December 19,1978 (water year 1979), and June 9, 1988. Sever conditions elsewhere. year is the difference between the average discharge for that year, which is determined from daily streamflow records, and the average discharge for the period of record. The areas of drought delineated on the maps are based on data from gaging stations statewide. The flood of September 23, 1941, affected mostly the central part of the State. Streamflow records indicate that the 1965 flood had a recurrence interval greater than 100 years in many areas across the eastern part of the State. The most significant floods and droughts in New Mexico are listed chronologically in Table 1. Northeastern. By the end of the 1950's, about 2,000 wells had been drilled to supplement surface-water irrigation allotments, which had been decreased in response to the drought (Wayne Cunningham Elephant Butte Irrigation District, oral communication, 1988) Precipitation records indicate the 1965 floods. The duration of the two droughts differed among streamflow-gaging stations, and the dates represent the earliest beginning date and latest ending date common to most stations. The gaging stations are located on largely unregulated streams and were selected on the basis of areal distribution, diversity of basin size, and hydrologic setting. For more information about FEMA administration in the City of Albuquerque, see the Hydrology Section . “It was a combination of PDO and El Niño, and also multiple independent high-precipitation storm events in the region and tropical storm remnants,” she said. And that year, 28 people died from weather-related causes, 24 of them in flooding. Records from 53 streamflow-gaging stations were used to determine the duration, areal extent, and seventy of floods; records from 17 gaging stations were used to determine Consequently, the period of record for the six gaging stations used to depict floods does not include the 1904 flood; however, other stations in operation recorded streamflow conditions during the 1904,1941,1942, and The areal extent and severity of major floods are shown in Figure 1. “They promptly climbed back into the tree.”. Although farmers in the State have minimized the effect of drought on their crops by irrigating, dryland farming is still practiced for some crops, such as wheat. Intense, widespread rainfall. Major long-term droughts occurred in New Mexico during 1931-41 and 1942-79. Every street in Roswell was washed away and many people, such as Mrs. Chase McReynolds, a member of a ranching family in Redrock in southwest New Mexico, experienced harrowing situations. FEMA Flood Exemptions Explore the interactive map to find FEMA LOMAs (Letter of Map Amendments) in Albuquerque. Loss of lives and livestock; property damage, $ 1 million. Click here for more info. Damage, tens of millions of dollars. The wettest March was 1905 with 2.21 inches. For example, at five of the six gaging stations, the 1942-79 drought ended in 1979, but the start of the drought ranged from 1942 to 1948. Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Protecting Life and Property since 1963. August and December were about average. However, only six gaging stations are used to describe the general severity of droughts. Streamflow records for the Vermejo River near Dawson, Rio Hondo near Valdez , and Pecos River near Pecos, indicate that the drought had recurrence intervals of 10-25 years in north-central New Mexico. On September 23, 1941, the peak discharge of the Rio Puerco near Bernardo was 18,800 ft3/s(cubic feet per second). For example, on June 17, 1965, the peak discharge of the Vermejo River near Dawson was 12,600 ft3/s, the peak discharge of record for that gaging station. Southwest-central, southeast-central, and south-central parts of State. URL: https://geochange.er.usgs.gov/sw/impacts/hydrology/state_fd/nmwater1.html September 1941 is the wettest September on record” in New Mexico. Other areas that had peak discharges with recurrence intervals of less than 50 years probably also were affected by the flood; however, records do not exist to document streamflow conditions. The September 1, 1942, flood affected the central and eastern parts of the State and, to a lesser extent, the northeastern part. There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. Much of the state suffered washed out bridges and roads, ruined crops and damaged irrigation ditches. City of Albuquerque Flood Hazard Areas (Flood Zones) November 16, 2012 by Michael Dunn All structures in the City of Albuquerque are required to be at least One foot about the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) including basements unless certain provisions are met concerning the flood protection and or flood proofing. Areal Extent of Droughts in New Mexico. On September 1, 1942, the peak discharge of the Pecos River near Puerto de Luna was 48,600 ft3/s, which has a recurrence interval greater than 100 years. The Albuquerque Metropolitan Arroyo Flood Control Authority (AMAFCA) was created in 1963 by the New Mexico Legislature with specific responsibility for flooding problems in the greater Albuquerque area AMAFCA’s purpose is to prevent injury or loss of life, and to eliminate or minimize property damage. Nevertheless, no annual precipitation minimums were recorded at any weather station in the vicinity of the gaging stations during the 1931-41 drought. Areal Extent of Floods in New Mexico. An extended period of deficient stream flow affecting all of New Mexico lasted from the early 1940's to late 1970's (Fig. December Pacific Coast flood events - Regional flooding, including flash floods, heavy snows in the mountains, high winds, and mudslides visited Oregon, Washington, and California. Floodwaters rushing over the east approach to the Bernardo, N.M., bridge on June 13, 1941, cut away half of the asphalt pavement. The drought of 1931-41 affected the entire State. August-September Southwest flood events - Heavy August rains followed by remnants of Hurricane Odile in September brought major flooding to parts of Arizona. southeastern, and parts of northern areas of State. Severe conditions elsewhere. Peak In those instances, however, flooding was localized and did not cause widespread damage. Page Last Modified: Fri 9-Dec-2016 14:28:27 MST. Streamflow records indicate that peak discharges at most gaging stations had recurrence intervals of 50-75 years. Click on image to view a larger version. May was also exceptionally wet that year, soaking up 3.71 inches, or 2.66 inches more than normal. Moderate conditions in northeast and northwest. From the gaging stations studied, six were selected to depict floods and six were selected to depict droughts: three of the gaging stations were used for both analyses. Information from eyewitnesses Intense, widespread rainfall. Streamflow records can be used as one means to determine the duration and areal extent of droughts. Jones and Sullivan agree that finding that answer was a challenge because weather-gathering methods were not as extensive or sophisticated then as they are now. In 1941, New Mexico got a statewide average of 26.25 inches of rain, about twice the normal statewide average of 13.96 inches. It was the wettest year in New Mexico history, the standard against which every other wet year in the state is measured. In those instances, however, flooding was localized and did not cause widespread damage. What Sullivan determined was that there was no single cause for the highly abnormal weather. In most of the State, however, the drought was severe and had a recurrence interval greater than 25 years. This reports past flood claims filed by the owner, but NOT flood damage at the property when no claim was filed. The 1942-79 drought greatly affected non-irrigated agricultural areas in New Mexico. Accessibility Therefore, in this study. “So a determination of anomalous patterns was difficult,” Sullivan said. Canadian and Pecos Rivers and central New Mexico. Streamflow deficiencies were computed for each drought within the longer drought period to determine a recurrence interval. Such short-term reversals in trend can indicate two separate droughts or a short recovery period within the major drought. Intrigued by the phenomenal weather year, Albuquerque native Sharon Sullivan started work on an honors thesis about 1941’s abnormal precipitation levels while she was an undergraduate at the University of New Mexico in 2013. Open Map The story does not report what happened to the snakes. (Source: MRGD). “September is the most variable month. Death totals in both areas would rise as bodies were recovered. discharges of most streams in the affected areas had recurrence intervals greater than 50 years. This flood occurred during a major drought but did not have an appreciable effect on the drought because of the relatively short duration of the increased streamflows. Sullivan said upper-air data was not collected in 1941. “We did not have nearly as many weather stations in New Mexico in 1941,” Jones said. Major flooding on the Gila River near Redrock on December 19, 1978, resulted in a peak discharge of 48,800 ft3/s. For more information on flood or alluvial fan hazards or to schedule a site specific site visit, please contact the Bernalillo County Floodplain Administrator, Blaine Carter, PE, CFM, at (505) 848-1526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.. Bernalillo County maintains the most current flood zone mapping on the FEMA Flood Zones interactive map. For more information on flood or alluvial fan hazards or to schedule a site specific site visit, please contact the Bernalillo County Floodplain Administrator, Blaine Carter, PE, CFM, at (505) 848-1526 or email@example.com., Bernalillo County maintains the most current flood zone mapping on the FEMA Flood Zones interactive map.
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