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Portales, NM

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Founded: 1909 Population: 12,280 Time Zone: -7
Latitude: 34.18 N Longitude: 103.34 W Altitude: 4,025 ft
Average High: 73.9 Average Low: 42.8 Annual Precipitation: 17.17



Portales, New Mexico, is the county seat of Roosevelt County, New Mexico. The town has a total area of 6.9 square miles and its population in July 2009 was 12,182. Portales is home to over 40 dairies and is a major producer and exporter of dairy products and is the US leading producer of Certified Organic peanut butter. Eastern New Mexico University is located in Portales, NM.

  2010 U.S. Census Demographic Profile about Portales, NM.

  2010 U.S. Census Demographic Profile about NM.


    Page Index
 ◊  History of Portales, NM
 ◊  History of NM
 ◊  Weather data for Portales, NM
 ◊  Historic Weather Events for NM

  • Droughts
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Floods
  • Winter Storms

    • History



        1. Wikipedia - Portales, New Mexico   [Online],_NM
        2. Wikipedia - Portales, New Mexico   [Online],_NM
        3. Wikipedia - Eastern New Mexico University   [Online]
        4. Wikipedia - Cannon Air Force Base   [Online]

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      State History

      Ancient times [3]

    • ca. 40,000-15,000 B.C.; People migrate to North America from Asia at irregular intervals by way of the Bering Land Bridge.
    • 10,000-8000 B.C.; Paleo-Indian culture of seminomadic hunter-foragers living in open countryside and in natural rock shelters.
    • 7,000 BC - 1,000 BC; Archaic Period of Native American hunter-gatherer culture as Indians build temporary dwellings, add shellfish to their diets, and fashion atlatls (spear throwers) to hunt small game.
    • Ancient Native American cultures in the American Southwest and Mexico.

    • Ancestral Puebloan Eras in the American Southwest and Mexico.[Ref]


      • 9200 BC Clovis Man inhabited the Blackwater area north of Portales until 11,000 years ago.[1]
      • 9000 BC and 8000 BC; Folsom Tradition was a Paleo-Indian culture that is characterized by use of Folsom points as projectile tips and activities known from kill sites where slaughter and butchering of bison took place and Folsom tools were left behind.[2]
      • 7000 BC to 1500 BC; known as the Early Basketmaker Era is characterized by many different cultures that used baskets to gather and store food.
      • 6000 BC to 2000 BC; Desert Culture I - These early people hunted small game; gathered seeds, nuts, and berries.
      • 2000 BC to 500 BC; Desert Culture II - These early people developed gardening skills, made baskets, and milling stones.
      • 1500 BC; Corn arrives from Mexico, agriculture begins.
      • 1500 BC - 50 AD; known as the Early Basketmaker II Era and arises with the cultivation of maize.
      • 300 BC to 1150 AD; The Mogollon culture farmed crops, made pottery, and lived in pit house villages.
      • 1 AD to 500 AD; The Anasazi used the Atlatl (spear thrower), gathered food, and made fine baskets. They lived in a range of structures, including pit houses, cliff dwellings, and pueblos, designed so that they could lift entry ladders during enemy attacks, which provided security.
      • 50 AD to 500 AD; Called the Late Basketmaker II Era. The people of this culture were proficient basket makers and weavers, the lived in pit-houses, and raised maize and squash. In addition to the food they cultivated, they also hunted game and gathered wild foods, such as pinyon nuts.
      • 700 to 1050 AD; Developmental Pueblo - This was the first period in which Ancient Pueblo People began living in pueblo structures. They began an evolution in architecture, artistic expression, and water conservation.
      • 900 AD to 1150 AD; Chaco Canyon is a major center of culture for the Ancient Pueblo People.
      • 950 to 1250; Medieval Warm Period.
      • 1050 AD to 1300 AD; Is the era of the Great Pueblo´s in northwestern New Mexico. This culture is characterized by the building of multistoried pueblo, the use of irrigation, and a laid out road system.
      • 1200 AD to 1500 AD; Pueblo Indians established villages along the Rio Grande and its tributaries.
      • 1300-1850: The Little Ice Age.
      • 1300 AD to 1600 AD; Rio Grande Classic - During this period, many of the sites in northwestern New Mexico are abandoned and the people migrated to new areas of settlement. They also changed their building and pottery style.


      1500 - 1699



      1700 - 1899



      1900 - 1999



      2000 - 2009


      • 2000, July 25; Valles Caldera National Preserve established.
      • 2005; 11.65% of state's employment was derived directly or indirectly from military spending.
      • 2008; New Mexico had highest poverty rate in US.
      • 2009, March 19; Death penalty abolished in New Mexico.

      For more information about the of New Mexico, visit the following sites:

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      Portales, NM Weather Information

      Monthly average highs and low temperatures and the average amount of precipitation for Portales, NM.
      Data from Portales Weather station, 1.44 miles from Portales.



      Month Jan. Feb. March April May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Annual
      Avg. High 54.1 ° 59.7 °

      67.7 °

      75.3 °

      83.2 °

      90.6 °

      91.5 °

      89.2 °

      84.2 °

      75 °

      62.3 °

      54.2 °

      73.9 °

      Avg. Low 23 °

      26.5 °

      32.7 °

      40.5 °

      50.6 °

      60 °

      63.9 °

      62.6 °

      55.3 °

      43.4 °

      31.3 °

      23.6 °

      42.8 °

      Mean 38.6 °

      43.1 °

      50.2 °

      57.9 °

      66.9 °

      75.3 °

      77.7 °

      75.9 °

      69.8 °

      59.2 °

      46.8 °

      38.9 °

      58.4 °

      Avg. Prec. 0.5 in

      0.4 in

      0.52 in

      0.78 in

      1.63 in

      2.57 in

      2.63 in

      3.2 in

      1.95 in

      1.59 in

      0.73 in

      0.67 in

      17.17 in


      The climate in Portales, NM, is warm during summer when temperatures tend to be in the 80's and cold during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 30's. The yearly mean is 58.4° Fahrenheit.

      The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 91.50 ° Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is January with an average minimum temperature of 23.00° Fahrenheit.

      Temperature variations between night and day tend to be moderate during summer with a difference that can reach 27° Fahrenheit, and relatively larger during winter with an average difference of 32° Fahrenheit.

      Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month of the year is August with an average rainfall of 3.20 inches. The annual average precipitation at Portales is 17.17 inches.[4]

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      Historical Weather data

      I am still doing research on this weather history of the state.

      NM Notable Severe Weather Events

      "New Mexico is in a subtropical region that has meager precipitation statewide. Average annual precipitation ranges from about 7 inches in the northwest to about 20 inches in some mountains. The statewide average annual precipitation is about 14 inches. "

      "The local topography significantly modifies New Mexico's regional weather and climate. Mountain ranges, which trend generally northward, are barriers to the prevailing westerly winds in the winter. The mountains force low-level air to rise and cause an orographic effect along the mountain slopes. As the air cools, condensation and precipitation result if sufficient moisture is present. Consequently, in the winter, more precipitation (mostly snow) falls on the mountains than on the surrounding valleys and plains. The topography also affects the spatial distribution of precipitation in the summer. Because of the uneven land surface, daytime heating of air generates thermal instability above the mountains more quickly than above the surrounding valleys and plains. Thus, convective showers are most common over the mountains. "

      "During the summer, the principal source of moisture for the entire State is the Gulf of Mexico. The gulf also is a significant source of year-round moisture for the eastern plains of New Mexico. Precipitation occurs primarily from scattered thunderstorms that are produced by daytime heat. The areal coverage and intensity of these systems can increase as a result of tropical disturbances. Rarely, the remnants of tropical cyclones from the Gulf of Mexico or Pacific Ocean move across New Mexico. Tropical cyclones, which include tropical storms and hurricanes, dissipate either over the ocean or in coastal areas of other States, and the residual moisture is transported into New Mexico"

      "During the fall, precipitation can occur when southward moving frontal systems interact with residual moisture originating in the Gulf of Mexico, particularly in the eastern plains and central mountains. The principal moisture from late fall to early spring originates in the Pacific Ocean and affects the western part of the State. Pacific moisture also contributes to precipitation in the eastern plains, although the Pacific is not as important a source as the Gulf of Mexico. Occasionally, the remnants of an eastern Pacific tropical cyclone bring locally intense rain in the fall. "

      "During the winter, the circumpolar Jetstream is north of New Mexico and the weather usually is clear and mild. Occasionally however, the Jetstream dips southward over the State and the weather becomes cooler. Then the potential for substantial precipitation is increased particularly in the mountains. By late spring, the circumpolar Jetstream has moved well to the north of New Mexico. From late spring through early summer a subtropical high-pressure system generally predominates. The result is warm to hot weather and little precipitation. Precipitation in the winter and early spring in the western part of the State usually is produced by storms from the Pacific. The eastern plains may receive significant snowfall from arctic cold fronts moving southward. By late spring, moisture from the Gulf of Mexico can extend to the eastern border of New Mexico. Eastward moving frontal systems interact with this moisture to produce thunderstorms that produce hail and even tornadoes particularly in May As summer progresses, the Bermuda High, a high-pressure system over the Atlantic Ocean, causes low-level winds to shift from the west and southwest to the south and southeast and carry moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The arrival of this moisture signals the beginning of the summer rainy season. Statewide, July and August generally are the wettest months." [Ref] pp 409-410

      For more information about the climate:



      "Droughts are common in New Mexico. The normally meager annual precipitation causes extended periods of scant flow in the State's unregulated rivers. Streamflow records can be used as one means to determine the duration and areal extent of droughts."

      "Such short-term reversals in trend can indicate two separate droughts or a short recovery period within the major drought. A study that employed a 5-year moving average to analyze streamflow within the Rio Grande basin showed that such reversals did not constitute recovery periods (Waltemeyer, 1987). Therefore, in this study, streamflow deficiencies were computed for each drought within the longer drought period to determine a recurrence interval."

      "Major long-term droughts occurred in New Mexico during 1931 and 1942-79. 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. 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. Most gaging-station records from the statewide network indicate a sustained drought from 1950 to 1979." [src - p 411]


      Drought Severity Classification





      Possible Impacts

      Palmer Drought Index

      CPC Soil
      Moisture Model

      USGS Weekly Streamflow

      Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)

      Objective Short and Long-term Drought Indicator Blends (Percentiles)



      Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures. Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits;  pastures or crops not fully recovered

      -1.0 to -1.9



      -0.5 to -0.7



      Moderate Drought

      Some damage to crops, pastures; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent; voluntary water-use restrictions requested

      -2.0 to -2.9



      -0.8 to -1.2




      Crop or pasture losses likely;  water shortages common; water restrictions imposed

      -3.0 to -3.9



      -1.3 to -1.5



      Extreme Drought

      Major crop/pasture losses;  widespread water shortages or restrictions

      -4.0 to -4.9



      -1.6 to -1.9



      Exceptional Drought

      Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies

      -5.0 or less



      -2.0 or less


      • 1931 - 1941; The American Midwest and the Canadian prairie are in the gripes of the Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties. This period of severe dust storms, causes major ecological and agricultural damage. The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres and is centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. Many Americans migrated west looking for work and were often known as "Okies", since so many came from Oklahoma. Some residents of the Plains, especially in Kansas and Oklahoma fall ill and die of dust pneumonia or malnutrition. In most of the New Mexico the drought was severe and had a recurrence interval greater than 25 years. Nevertheless, no annual precipitation minimums were recorded at any weather station in the vicinity of the gaging stations during the 1931^41 drought.[src][src - p 411]

      • NOAA Drought October 1934

      • 1942-79; Precipitation records indicate the severity of the 1942-79 drought in New Mexico. The drought greatly affected nonirrigated agricultural areas in New Mexico. Some of the lowest recorded annual precipitation minimums were:[Ref]
        • Farmington - 4.07 inches in 1950
        • Albuquerque - 4.06 inches in 1956
        • Carlsbad - 4.40 inches in 1956
        • and Glenwood - 6.90 inches in 1956
      • Between 1949 and 1951, Texas rainfall dropped by 40% with 75% of Texas recorded below normal rainfall amounts. Temperatures were also extremely high temperatures exceeded 100°F on 52 days in the summer of 1953. By 1954, the drought encompassed a ten-state area reaching from the mid-west to the Great Plains, and southward into New Mexico. The drought maintained a stronghold in the Great Plains, reaching a peak in 1956. The drought subsided in most areas with the spring rains of 1957.[Src]
      • 1950's; The 1950s drought was characterized by both low rainfall amounts and excessively high temperatures. Texas rainfall dropped by 40% between 1949-1951 and by 1953, 75% of Texas recorded below normal rainfall amounts. Excessive temperatures heated up cities like Dallas where temperatures exceeded 100°F on 52 days in the summer of 1953. Kansas experienced severe drought conditions during much of the five-year period, and recorded a negative Palmer Drought Severity Index from 1952 until March 1957, reaching a record low in September of 1956.

      • NOAA Drought September 1956

      • 2011; Most of Texas and Oklahoma, as well as parts of Louisiana, Kansas and New Mexico are suffering from extreme draught conditions. In 2011, the across the equatorial Eastern Central Pacific Ocean, knowen as La Nina, is the sixth-strongest in records dating back to 1949.

      • NOAA Drought July 2011


      Primary Sources:
      NATIONAL WATER SUMMARY 1988-89 / Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts [PDF] pp 183, 185-186
      South Central Climate Science Center in Norman, Oklahoma. May 28, 2013. Drought History, for the Northwest Plateau of New Mexico, May 28, 2013. Retrieved 2017-10-23


      For more information:


      Enhanced Fujita Scale
      EF0 EF1 EF2 EF3 EF4 EF5


      The following statistics where compiled from "The Tornado Project" for the time period of 1950-07-11 - 2014-09-29.

      Intensity Number Fatalities
      F0 394 0
      F1 115 0
      F2 34 4
      F3 4 1
      F4 0 0
      F5 0 0


      Between 1950-07-11 - 2014-09-29 New Mexico has had 557 tornadoes killing 5 people and injuring 155 people. The greatest loss of live occurred on March 23, 2007, when an EF2 touched down at 7:30 pm killing 2 and injuring 33. [Ref]

      • 1957, May 10; An F2 tornado in San Juan County, caused one death and $25,000 in damages.[Ref]
      • 1957, May 24-25; The Late-May 1957 tornado outbreak produced 37 confirmed tornadoes, 1 F4 and 3 F3. There were 4 fatalities south of Lawton, Oklahoma. The states affected were Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. An F2 tornado struck Curry County, New Mexico, causing $25,000 in damages. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 1960, June 25; An F0 tornado struck Colfax County injuring 34 and causing $25,000 in damages.[Ref]
      • 1964, May 29; An F3 tornado struck Colfax County, one death was reported and 8 were injured. The tornado caused $250,000 in damages.[Ref]
      • 1974, October 10; An F2 tornado struck Valencia County, one death was reported and 8 were injured. The tornado caused $250,000 in damages.[Ref]
      • 1991, May 31; An F2 tornado struck Eddy County injuring 21 and causing $2.5 million in damages.[Ref]
      • 2007, March 23; An F2 tornado struck Curry County, New Mexico, killing 2 and injuring 33. The tornado caused $16.50 million in damages. About 500 homes and other facilities sustained at least some damage. Thirty five people suffered treatment injuries including five that required hospitalization. Two elderly citizens died later from injuries sustained during the event making these the first tornado fatalities in New Mexico since October of 1974.[Ref]
      • 2008, May 22-31; The Late May 2008 tornado outbreak sequence affected Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Minnesota, Ontario, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, Nebraska, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia and Manitoba. There were 235 confirmed tornadoes 11 EF3, 1 EF3 and 1 EF4. There were 12 fatalities during this outbreak. There were 114 confirmed tornadoes in Kansas, 70 on May 23. There were 3 EF0 tornadoes in New Mexico on May 28.[Ref] Oklahoma had 14 tornadoes and there were 10 tornadoes in Texas.

      For more information:

      Hurricanes / Tropical cyclone


      Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
      Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
      Related classifications
      Tropical storm: Tropical depression
      Rollover for details


      Before 1950


      • 1911, October 4; Influenced by an approaching extratropical cyclone, the remnants of a tropical cyclone that originated over the Pacific Ocean south of Baja California[Ref p25] crossed the Gulf of California and Arizona into New Mexico, producing 2 inches (51 mm) of rain in some areas.
      • 1918, September 18; The remnants of a Pacific hurricane, that had formed off Acapulco on September 14, 1918 moved through the northern portion of New Mexico. Arivaca, AZ, northwest of Nogales, reported 1.50 inches on the 18th but no more than 0.10 was reported elsewhere in southwest Arizona. [Ref p12]
      • 1919, September 16; After striking Texas as a category 3 hurricane [Ref], the storm weakened to become a tropical depression that dissipated over western Texas. Its remnants produced 2.84 inches (72 mm) of rainfall in Roswell. [Ref pp 11-12]
      • 1921, October 1; The remnants of a Pacific hurricane moved through the northern portion of the state. The tropical cyclone formed in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (on September 22, 1921), and moved along the coast of Baja California. The storm turned eastward to Flagstaff and moved across the central United States as an extratropical cyclone, crossing near Detroit, down the St. Lawrence River, across Newfoundland, and across the Atlantic 0cean almost to Ireland. Yuma recorded 3.63 inches. [Ref p12]
      • 1932, August 27; A Pacific hurricane making landfall near Culiacán, Sinaloa, produced heavy rainfall in the southwestern New Mexico for three days. [Ref]
      • 1936, September 8; After moving through the Sea of Cortez into Arizona, the remnants of a tropical cyclone dropped 1.97 inches (50 mm) in Datil, New Mexico.
      • 1938, September 2; The remnants of a Pacific storm produced rainfall in the state. Unconfirmed
      • 1941, September 18; The remnants of an Atlantic storm dropped 11.33 inches (288 mm) of rainfall in a 24 hour period. Unconfirmed
      • 1942, August 31; A hurricane struck Texas and dissipated over southern New Mexico, producing 9 inches (230 mm) of rain in 28 hours. The rainfall caused flooding in the Pecos and Canadian rivers. In one station along the Pecos River, the floods produced a discharge of 48,600 cubic feet per second (0.028 cubic meters per second), which was a 1 in 100 year event.




      • 1951, August 26-29; The remnants of a unnamed Pacific tropical cyclone affected the state of New Mexico. Yuma, Arizona, received 1.13 inches of rain, the rain spread northeasterly over Arizona. Unconfirmed [Ref p 18]
      • 1954, October 7; An unnamed Tropical Depression moved westward from the coast of Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico. Rains from this tropical depression crossed from Texas into New Mexico. The highest precipitation was 9.8 inches (250 mm) in Canton, which was the greatest rainfall total associated with a tropical cyclone in the state since 1950. The rainfall caused flooding in Roswell and along the Pecos River system. The flooding caused millions in damage after flooding affected six towns and highways across the region. There were four confirmed fatalities with seven missing in the days after the storm.[Ref 1][Ref 2]
      • 1954, October 3-7; The remnants of a unnamed Pacific tropical cyclone moved into southeast New Mexico as a cold front banked up against the Rockies, leading to flash flooding in the Pecos River and its tributaries. Canton, NM, received 9.80 inches of rain. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 1957, October 6; After crossing northwestern Mexico, a Pacific tropical depression dissipated in the southern portion of the state.
      • 1957; The remnants of a second Pacific system across New Mexico.
      • 1958, September 12; A tropical storm dissipated over Baja California, spreading rainfall into the state.
      • 1958, October 6; An unnamed Pacific hurricane dissipated over the state, after crossing Sonora and Arizona. This was exactly a year after another depression dissipated in the state. The depression produced rainfall in the state. [Ref p 25]
      • 1959; The Albuquerque National Weather Service reported that the remnants of a Pacific storm impacted the weather in New Mexico. Unconfirmed-Possibly Hurricane Ten of the 1959 Pacific hurricane season.




      • 1960; The Albuquerque National Weather Service reported that the remnants of a Pacific storm impacted the weather in New Mexico. Unconfirmed-Possibly Hurricane Diana.
      • 1961; The Albuquerque National Weather Service reported that the remnants of a Pacific storm impacted the weather in New Mexico. Unconfirmed
      • 1962, September 27; Tropical Storm Claudia dissipated over the Baja California peninsula and produced over 25% of the warm-season rainfall in portions of New Mexico. The remnants of Tropical Storm Claudia caused severe flash flooding in and around Tucson. Up to seven inches of rain fell in the desert just west of Tucson, Arizona.[Ref]
      • 1964, September 9-10; The remnants of Tropical Storm Tillie brought rain to southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and around El Paso, Texas. Tucson, AZ, received 3.05 inches (77 mm) of rainfall in a 24-hour period.
      • 1965; The Albuquerque National Weather Service reported that the remnants of a Pacific storm impacted the weather in New Mexico. Unconfirmed-Possibly Hurricane Emily.
      • 1966; The Albuquerque National Weather Service reported that the remnants of a Pacific storm impacted the weather in New Mexico. Unconfirmed
      • 1967; The Albuquerque National Weather Service reported that the remnants of a Pacific storm impacted the weather in New Mexico. Unconfirmed-Possibly Hurricane Katrina that dissipated over Arizona.
      • 1968, August 20; The remnants of Tropical Storm Hyacinth spread clouds and caused showers and thunderstorms over Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.[Ref]
      • 1968, October 3; Portions of the state experienced rainfall from dissipating Hurricane Pauline. Rain from Pauline affected Northwestern Mexico, California, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.[Ref]
      • 1968; The remnants of a third storm affected New Mexico. According to the Albuquerque National Weather Service, 1968 had the most storms affecting the state. Unconfirmed




      • 1970, August 5; Hurricane Celia developed from a tropical wave in the western Caribbean Sea on July 31, 1970. Celia made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph (205 km/h) on August 3. Overall, Celia caused 28 deaths and $930 million (1970 USD) in damage. Celia maintained a well-defined circulation until it dissipated over the southeast portion of New Mexico. The system dropped over 2 inches (51 mm) of rainfall in some areas of New Mexico, but its associated winds were not strong.[Ref]
      • 1970, September 5; Moisture from Tropical Storm Norma from the Pacific combined with a cold front to produce heavy rainfall of about 12 inches (300 mm), and caused flooding near the Four Corners region.
      • 1971, October 1; The remnants of Hurricane Olivia produced over 2 inches (51 mm) of rainfall across Arizona, triggering flash flood warnings throughout the region. Pinal Ranch reported 5.33 inches (135 mm) of precipitation, while Mount Lemmon measured 3.81 inches (97 mm). Olivia's remnants also caused three major power outages near Yuma, Arizona, and produced flooding that resulted in the closure of a portion of U.S. Route 95. In Navajo and Pinal counties in Arizona, the rainfall damaged roads, bridges, sewers, and homes, which amounted to about $250,000 in repair work for the state of Arizona.[Ref] The remnants of Hurricane Olivia dropped 2.46 inches (62.5 mm) in Zuni, New Mexico.[Ref]
      • 1972, October 7; Joanne became a hurricane on October 1st well west of Mazatlan before turning more to the north due to the influence of an upper trough. Hurricane Joanne peaked as a Category 2 Hurricane on October 2. The system passed the subtropical ridge axis on the 4th and turned to the northeast toward northern Baja California. Moving over increasingly cooler water, Joanne weakened into a tropical storm west of Point Eugenia, crossing northern Baja California on the night of October 5th before moving into Sonora. Over 5.00 inches of rain was reported on the Mogollon rim southeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. Chaco Canyon National Monument in NW New Mexico, received 1.94 inches of rain.[Ref]
      • 1976, October 2; The remnants of Hurricane Liza (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) brought light rain to New Mexico. Willow Beach, AZ, received 1.48 inches (38 mm) and White Sands National Monument, NM, reported 0.47 inches (11.9 mm).[Ref]
      • 1977, August 13-18; Hurricane Doreen paralleled the west coast of Baja before dissipating west of San Diego. Severe flooding occurred in Yuma County, and around Bullhead City. Rainfall in Yuma totaled 2.96 inches. Severe flooding also occurred in California's Imperial Valley. In New Mexico, most of the rainfall was between 1 to 2 inches (25 to 51 mm), and peaked at 2.05 inches (52 mm) in the city of Florida, New Mexico (north of Socorro, NM). [Ref]
      • 1977, October 4 - 7; The remnants of Hurricane Heather produced heavy rain and major flooding over extreme southern Arizona. 8.30 inches of rain fell at Nogales, Arizona, with as much as 14 inches in the surrounding mountains. Yeso, New Mexico, received 3.17 inches (81 mm) of rain. [Ref]
      • 1978, September; The remnants of a Pacific tropical cyclone dropped at least 6.35 inches (161 mm) in the Guadalupe Mountains in the southeast portion of New Mexico. Unconfirmed-Possible Hurricane Norman (1978)




      • 1980, August 12; After making landfall north of Brownsville, Texas, as a category 3 hurricane, Hurricane Allen weakened into a tropical storm and then a tropical depression as it moved across northern Mexico and the Big Bend area of Texas. The storm produced rainfall across New Mexico.[Ref]
      • 1981, July 29-30; The remnant circulation (Tropical Depression Four) that formed south of Cuba made landfall across northeast Mexico, and its surface circulation quickly dissipated. Its moisture extended into New Mexico, and 6.12 inches (155 mm) fell at Hobbs, New Mexico. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 1982, October 1; Heavy rainfall of over 4 inches (100 mm) spread across New Mexico after Hurricane Paul struck Baja California and dissipated. The rains caused crop and property damage.
      • 1983, October 2; Tropical Depression Octave dissipated offshore western Mexico, although it contributed to widespread flooding and rainfall across the southwestern United States. Rainfall in New Mexico reached 5.42 inches (138 mm) near Luna, New Mexico. The rains caused flooding that forced people from their homes and damaged a portion of U.S. Route 180. New Mexico governor Toney Anaya declared a state of emergency in Catron County.
      • 1983, October 19; The remnants of Hurricane Tico dropped over 3 inches (76 mm) of rainfall in the southeastern portion of New Mexico. Portales received 1.62 inches (41.15 mm) of rain on the 19th.[Ref] Flooding was reported in parts of southern Kansas, Texas, and especially Oklahoma, with serious flooding reported along the lower Washita River. [Ref]
      • 1984, September 26; Flash flood warnings were posted across New Mexico due to rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Norbert.
      • 1984, October 3; The remnants of Hurricane Polo dropped about 2 inches (51 mm) of rain in Reserve, New Mexico.
      • 1985, October 9; The remnants of Hurricane Waldo caused flash floods affecting the southern one-third of New Mexico. Peaking as a category two hurricane, Waldo came ashore southwest of Culiacàn, Mexico, before dissipating. The resulting floods were due to heavy rainfall that peaked at 6.66 inches (169 mm) in Hobbs, New Mexico. Damage was estimated between $100,000-$1 million (1985 USD), mostly to crops, roads, and buildings. As a frontal wave, Waldo doused the southern Plains and Mid-Mississippi Valley with 3-5 inches of rainfall.[Ref]
      • 1986, September 24; On the afternoon of the September, 22, Hurricane Newton passed about 30 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas before moving inland near Punta Rosa, Mexico. On the 24th the remains of hurricane Newton continued northward as a thunderstorm complex into New Mexico, crossing the southeastern portion of the state with scattered rain showers. Rainfall peaked at 1.31 inches (33 mm) southeast of Lordsburg, NM.[Ref]
      • 1987, October 13; The Albuquerque National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Ramon affected New Mexico, Unconfirmed. Hurricane Ramon peaked as a Category 4 storm on October 9 off the coast of Mexico. After peaking, Ramon turned to the northwest and rapidly weakened over cooler waters. Ramon weakened into a tropical storm on October 11 and a depression on October 12. The remnants of Hurricane Ramon produced heavy rainfall that caused flooding in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, southwestern Colorado and as far inland as Utah.[Ref] The Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, in California received 2.14 inches (54.4 mm) of rain. [Ref]
      • 1988, The Albuquerque National Weather Service reported that the remnants of one of the eastern Pacific tropical cyclones affected New Mexico. Unconfirmed
      • 1989, Sept. 25-Oct. 5; Hurricane Raymond was a Category 4 hurricane with highest sustained winds of 145 mph (230 km/h). There was one fatality and $1.75 million (1989 USD) in property damage. Raymond affected Baja California Peninsula, northeastern Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Raymond made landfall on the Baja California Peninsula as a tropical storm late on October 4 and a second landfall in Sonora, Mexico. Tucson, Arizona recorded 4.5 inches (110 mm) of rain that caused flash flooding and landslides. On October 5th the remnants of Hurricane Raymond entered New Mexico from Arizona and dissipated in the western portion of the state. The storm produced about 1 inch (25 mm) of rain across the region, peaking at 2.99 inches (76 mm) in Red River, New Mexico. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]




      • 1990, June; The remnants of Hurricane Boris from the eastern Pacific dropped 0.92 inches (23 mm) of rainfall in Wolf Canyon, NM, and 3.28 inches (83 mm) over the Santa Rita Mountains in Arizona. The depression dissipated as a tropical cyclone on June 8 as the system quickly lost its tropical characteristics.[Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 1990, June; Moisture from Tropical Storm Douglas, that brushed the western coast of Mexico in late June, brought substantial rainfall to New Mexico.
      • 1990, October 1; In an area already experiencing above-normal rainfall, the remnants of Tropical Storm Rachel produced additional precipitation in New Mexico, Arizona, and western Texas.[Ref]
      • 1992; August 24; The remnants of Hurricane Lester (1992) moved into the New Mexico from Arizona and dissipated near Albuquerque. The highest rainfall total was 2.17 inches (55 mm) near Lindrith, New Mexico. The rains caused flash flooding of arroyos and a mudslide along U.S. Route 180.[Ref]
      • 1993, August 27; The remnants of Hurricane Hilary caused flash flooding in Pima County after 3.75 inches (95 mm) of rain fell on Green Valley. At the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument 3.50 inches (89 mm) of precipitation was recorded. Hilary dissipated over northwestern Mexico producing a surge of moisture that dropped over 25% of the rainfall total that normally occurs in portions of New Mexico during the summer.
      • 1995, September 12-16; Hurricane Ismael was a Category 1 hurricane with highest sustained winds measured at 80 mph (130 km/h). There were 116 fatalities and $26 million (1995 USD) in property damage. Ismael made landfall near Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico. Ismael moved northeast bringing heavy rainfall to the New Mexico/Texas border. Hobbs, New Mexico, recorded 8.53 inches (217 mm) of rain, with unofficial reports of over 10 inches (250 mm). In Lubbock, Texas, the rainfall led to flash flooding, closing many intersections and roads. In southwestern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas, the remnants of the storm produced over 3 inches (76 mm) of rain. [Ref] The intense precipitation flooded many houses and closed several roads. Flooding also washed out three sections of the Texas - New Mexico Railroad line. Damage was estimated at $250,000 (1995 USD).[Ref]
      • 1996, September 14; Hurricane Fausto dissipated over Mexico, and its remnant moisture contributed to rainfall and flash floods. Over 3 inches (76 mm) of rain fell over Tucson. Widespread flash flooding occurred over the southern half of Eddy County. In Carlsbad, New Mexico, many streets were flooded, and in Black River Village, there was two feet (0.61 m) of water in some parts of town. [Ref]
      • 1997, September 27; As Hurricane Nora moved through Baja California and Arizona, its outer rain bands produced light rainfall in the northwest portion of New Mexico.
      • 1998, August 11; Moisture from Tropical Storm Frank spread from the coast of California through New Mexico.
      • 1998, September 4-5; The remnants of Hurricane Isis produced 1.47 inches (37 mm) of precipitation at White Signal, NM.[Ref] In Arizona, Isis produced up to 3 inches (76 mm) across the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains that surround Tucson. [Ref]




      • 2000, October 11; The remnants of Tropical Storm Olivia from the Pacific Ocean dropped heavy rainfall in the northwestern portion of New Mexico. [Ref]
      • 2001, September 30; Hurricane Juliette dumped heavy rains on the Baja California Peninsula and in Sonora. The remnants of Juliette moved into California. Mid-level moisture from Juliette spread across portions of southeastern Arizona, southern New Mexico, and western Texas. Patagonia, Arizona, received 0.9 inches of rain.[Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 2002, September 9; Tropical Storm Fay was a moderate tropical storm which caused flooding in parts of Texas and Mexico. Rainfall and thunderstorms spread across New Mexico as Tropical Storm Fay dissipated over Texas. [Ref]
      • 2003, July 8-17; Hurricane Claudette began as a tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean. Claudette moved through the Gulf of Mexico and became a hurricane late on July 14. Claudette made landfall near Port O'Connor, Texas, on July 15 as a Category 1 hurricane. On July 16, the remnants of the storm produced beneficial rainfall in the southeastern portion of New Mexico.[Ref] On July 17, the storm lost its low-level circulation over Chihuahua, although its rainfall and upper-level circulation continued into the Pacific Ocean. The rainfall restored the flow of the Rio Grande at Big Bend National Park, which had ceased in the area due to lack of rainfall. There was 1 fatality and $180 million (2003 USD) in property damage.[Ref] Tilden, TX, received 6.50 inches (165 mm) of rain. Other rainfall totals in Texas were 5.63 inches (143 mm) in Refugio, 4.50 inches (114 mm) in Campbellton, and 4.89 inches (124.2 mm) in Dilley.[Ref]
      • 2003, September 24; Rains from Tropical Depression Marty in the Sea of Cortez spread across Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas before becoming a remnant low on the evening of September 24. Glenwood, New Mexico, received 1.06 inches (27 mm) of rain from the storm.[Ref]
      • 2003, October 7; A stalled extratropical storm drew moisture from hurricanes Nora and Olaf to produce rains in a drought-stricken region, along with flash flooding. Heavy rainfall across Texas, produced flooding near Waco, TX. The floodwaters closed portions of Interstate 35, U.S. Route 84, and Texas State Highway 36.Unconfirmed [Ref]
      • 2004, July 3; Moisture from a tropical depression produced a few thunderstorms in New Mexico. Unconfirmed
      • 2004, September 21; The mid-level remnants of Hurricane Javier crossed the northwest portion of the state from the eastern Pacific, dropping 2.48 inches (63 mm) of rainfall in Albuquerque.[Ref]
      • 2005, July 11-26; Hurricane Emily formed on July 10, 2005, in the central Atlantic Ocean. The system subsequently made landfall in the Yucatán Peninsula as a Category 4. Quickly crossing the peninsula, Emily emerged into the Gulf of Mexico and reorganized. On July 20, the storm made landfall near San Fernando, Tamaulipas, as a Category 3 hurricane and rapidly dissipated within 24 hours. Rainfall from the storm peaked at 5.2 inches in Mercedes, Texas. Additionally, eight tornadoes touched down in Texas as a result of Emily, damaging or destroying several homes. Agricultural losses in Texas amounted to $4.7 million, and property losses reached $225,000.[Ref] The remnants of Hurricane Emily produced thunderstorms across New Mexico for four days. On July 26 severe thunderstorms developed into heavy rainstorms and dropped more than two inches of rain across much of southeastern New Mexico and west Texas. Flash flooding was reported at the intersection of Eddy County Road 222 and Highway 82 in Eddy County, New Mexico.[Ref]
      • 2005, September 22; Thunderstorms were reported across New Mexico in association with the remnants of Hurricane Max. Unconfirmed
      • 2005, October 2; Moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Otis in the Pacific Ocean produced scattered thunderstorms. Unconfirmed
      • 2006, September 2; The remnants of Hurricane John from the eastern Pacific produced three days of rainfall in the southern portion of the state. The moisture was amplified by an approaching upper-level trough. Ruidoso, New Mexico, reported the highest rainfall total with 5.25 inches (133 mm). The precipitation flooded creeks and rivers, which entered houses and caused roads to be closed. [Ref]
      • 2007, August 13-27; Hurricane Dean formed on August 13, 2007, about 520 miles (835 km) west-southwest of Cape Verde. Dean made landfall as a Category 5 storm in Costa Maya, Quintana Roo, region, 40 mi (65 km) northeast of the border between Mexico and Belize, and then weakened. Dean re-entered the Gulf of Mexico and made a second landfall as a Category 2 storm on August 22, near Tecolutla, Veracruz, to the south of Tuxpan and disintegrated over central Mexico. A small remnant circulation reached the Pacific Ocean, eventually moving northwestward around an anticyclone, roughly parallel to the Mexican coast and finally back inland over the southwestern United States. The remnant circulation of Dean moved inland near Santa Barbara, California, and brought heavy thunderstorms and localized flooding to coastal Southern California on the morning of August 26. The remnants crossed the Mojave Desert on the morning of August 27. Las Vegas, Nevada, received a daily record of 0.58 inches (15 mm) of rain, with flash flooding and minor damage. [Ref 1] [Ref 2] Moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Dean moved across the western portion of New Mexico.
      • 2007, August 30 - September 7; Hurricane Henriette was a minimal Category 1 hurricane that affected portions of Mexico. Henriette made landfall east of Cabo San Lucas on the afternoon of September 4. After crossing the Gulf of California, Henriette made a second landfall near Guaymas in the state of Sonora. The storm's remnants moved northeast across Mexico, entering the United States near El Paso, Texas. The system brought abundant moisture to west Texas and southeastern New Mexico resulting in flash flooding and severe thunderstorms. [Ref 1] The system spawned a landspout near Tyrone, New Mexico. [Ref 2]
      • 2008, July 26; The well-defined circulation of former Hurricane Dolly crossed Texas and eastern Mexico into southeastern New Mexico. Rainfall totals included a statewide peak of 8.53 inches (217 mm) in Sunspot, and more than 6 inches (150 mm) in Ruidoso. The high totals caused the Rio Ruidoso and Rio Bonito to overflow near Ruidoso, New Mexico, which resulted in flooding in and around the city. One person died after being swept away by the Rio Ruidoso. Flooding near Mescalero caused two dams to fail at Mud Canyon. The system also spawned a funnel cloud near Las Cruces. Across the region, the flooding caused about $25 million in damage after damaging about 500 structures (including 47 destroyed houses). The floods also washed out at least 13 bridges. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 2008, September 11; The remnants of Tropical Storm Lowell from the eastern Pacific produced a series of mid-level shortwave troughs embedded in southwest flow aloft that moved across southwest Texas and southeast New Mexico. Flash flooding occurred near Hobbs, NM. An EF0 tornado touched down near Vaughn, NM.[Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 2008, October 11; Hurricane Norbert formed in the Pacific Ocean and reached a peak intensity as a Category 4. Norbert moved ashore at Baja California Sur as a Category 2 hurricane late on October 11. After crossing the Baja California Peninsula, Norbert made a second landfall in Sonora as a strong Category 1 hurricane. Hurricane Norbert produced rainfall and thunderstorms across Texas and New Mexico after combining with a powerful storm moving through the Great Basin. The rainfall reached 1.5 inches (38 mm) in House, New Mexico, and the thunderstorms caused tree damage and dropped large hail.[Ref]
      • 2009, September 2; While striking Baja California, Hurricane Jimena spread rainfall into portions of New Mexico. [Ref]




      • 2010, June 25 - July 4; Hurricane Alex originated from an area of disturbed weather on June 25, 2010, slowly developing in the western Caribbean Sea and struck Belize as a strong tropical storm. June 30, the cyclone attained hurricane status as it approached northeastern Mexico. Alex came ashore near Soto la Marina as a Category 2 hurricane. Starting on June 30, feeder bands on the northern side of the hurricane began producing tropical-storm-force winds throughout Cameron, Willacy and Kenedy Counties in Texas. Brownsville Airport had 6.80 inches (173 mm) of precipitation in a 36-hour period. [Ref] Hurricane Alex spread northward within the persistent tropical moisture plume and began to impact the west Texas South Plains during the late evening hours of July 4. The most adversely impacted areas were portions of Terry, Lubbock, Lynn, and Garza Counties, where isolated locations received more than one foot of rain through the early morning hours of July 4. Local and state officials estimated losses to approach $16.5 million. The State of Texas declared several South Plains counties a Disaster Area. Reported storm rainfall measurements included: 9.25 inches (235 mm) at Wolfforth, 7.88 inches (200 mm) at Lubbock's Science Spectrum, and 6.12 inches (155.4 mm) at Lubbock's Preston Smith International Airport. [Ref] In New Mexico, Hurricane Alex dropped over 3 inches (75 mm) of rainfall in the southeast portion of the state.
      • 2010, September 22, Tropical Storm Georgette originated from an area of disturbed weather over the eastern Pacific on September 20. Georgette tracked north and made landfall on mainland Mexico on September 22. Remnant moisture moved into New Mexico. A total of 6.42 inches (163 mm) was reported in Gladstone, New Mexico. The rains caused flooding that killed a person along the Rio Grande River near Carnuel, New Mexico.[Ref]
      • 2012, September 28; Hurricane Miriam formed in the eastern pacific on September 22 and became a Category 3 storm on September 24. Miriam quickly lost strength and became a tropical depression on the 27th. Moisture from Hurricane Miriam drifted over the Baja California Peninsula, and into Texas. In New Mexico, heavy rain in Eddy County produced flash flooding in Carlsbad, New Mexico.[Ref]
      • 2014, September 2-11; Hurricane Norbert originated from an area of disturbed weather in association with an area of low pressure area in the eastern pacific on September 2. Norbert became a Category 3 Hurricane early on September 6. Norbert quickly lost strength and became a tropical storm late on September 6. During the next few days, Nobert's remnants made a northward loop, before dissipating on September 11. Moisture from Norbert affected Western Mexico, Baja California Peninsula, and the Southwestern United States. Circulation of Norbert, in conjunction with the remnants of Atlantic Tropical Storm Dolly, spread moisture across northwest Mexico and into the southwestern United States. In southern California, Hemet received about 3 inches (76 mm) of rain. Chandler, AZ, received 6.09 inches (155 mm) of precipitation, while Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport recorded 3.30 inches (84 mm) of rainfall over a seven-hour period. In Arizona the storm produced torrential rainfall and flash flooding across the east slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. [Ref] Several roads were damaged by flood waters. In New Mexico, heavy rain fell across Eddy County and produced flash flooding southwest of Carlsbad. Dark Canyon Road and County Road 408 were closed due to an estimated five feet of water over the road at Juniper Draw. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 2014, September 18-20; The remnants of Hurricane Odile brought heavy rainfall to southwestern New Mexico. Floods from the remnants killed a 39 year old oil field worker when the vehicle he was a passenger in was washed off of Whites City Road about 0.9 miles east northeast of Carlsbad Caverns Visitor Center.[Ref] The highest storm total from Hurricane Odile was 15.26 inches (388 mm) in Gail, Texas. In Houston, heavy rains resulted in minor flooding. In all, two people were killed across Texas. A sheriff died after she became trapped by flood waters near the shores of Lake Austin while she was checking a low water crossing. The Lower Colorado River Authority Rain gauge network reported rains in the area of Marshall Ford totaling nearly 4 inches in 30 minutes. [Ref] The second fatality occurred September 24 when over 5 inches of rain fell in about 4 hours in El Paso. A 64-year-old woman drowned in the flash flood that occurred. [Ref 1] [Ref 2]
      • 2015, June 5; The remnants of Hurricane Andres brought rain to northern New Mexico. Showers and thunderstorms developed along the mountains of central New Mexico and moved northeast across the plains. Quarter size hail was reported along Interstate 25 near Maxwell, New Mexico, and some wind damage was reported to trees around Roswell.[Ref]
      • 2015, September 5; Moisture drawn northeast from Tropical Storm Kevin brought scattered storms to the Four Corners region, where New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona meet.
      • 2016, September 7; The remnants of Hurricane Newton combined with an upper trough moving over the Rockies brought very heavy rains to the southwestern United States. [Ref] Heavy rainfall peaked at 5.67 inches (144 mm) at Miller Carr Canyon in southeastern Arizona and 3.43 inches (87 mm) near Texico, New Mexico, the highest rainfall total in that state. [Ref] Cuchillo Creek overflowed and flooded Highway 52 in Winston, New Mexico. Water was up to 2 feet deep across the highway. [Ref]


      Primary Source:


      Unconfirmed - - Several "List of New Mexico Hurricanes" state that a "tropical cyclone affected the state" during this time period. A review of the noted citations, and other sources did not provide proof that a tropical cyclone affected New Mexico for the indicated time period.


      For more information:


      USGC - Flood Mark
      • 1904, Sept. 29; Major damage was reported along the Pccos, Canadian, Cimarron, Red, Gallinas, Mora, Sapello, and Santa Fe Rivers: along Rayado and Manuelitas Creeks; and along the Rio Grande (Monk, 1904). Information from eyewitnesses provided a basis for determining flood damage, which was estimated to be at least $ 1 million; of this amount, one-half was damage to railroads (Monk, 1904).
      • 1911, Oct. 6; Flooding was localized and did not cause widespread damage. The peak discharge of the flood has remained undetermined. However, the peak stage of the Animas River at Farmington during the 1911 flood was about twice the stage of the flood of June 29, 1927, which had a peak discharge of about 25,000 ftVs (cubic feet per second).
      • 1927, Jun 27; Flooding was localized and did not cause widespread damage. The recurrence interval for the flood on the Animas River and San Juan River exceeded 100 years.
      • 1941, September 1; The flood affected the central and eastern parts of the State and, to a lesser extent, the northeastern part. Streamflow records indicate that peak discharges at most gaging stations had recurrence intervals of 50-75 years. On September 1, 1942, the peak discharge of the Pccos River near Puerto de Luna was 48,600 ftVs (cubic feet per second), which has a recurrence interval greater than 100 years. Accounts by local residents indicate that the 1942 flood was of lesser magnitude than the 1904 flood.
      • 1941, September 23; The flood affected mostly the central part of the State. The peak discharge of the Rio Puerco near Bernardo was 18.800 ftVs (cubic feet per second). Peak discharges of most streams in the affected areas had recurrence intervals greater than 50 years. 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.
      • 1927, April 24; Flooding was localized and did not cause widespread damage. Flooding on the Rio Grande in the central part of the State exceeded 100 years recurrence interval.
      • 1942, September 1; The flood affected the central and eastern parts of the State and, to a lesser extent, the northeastern part. Streamflow records indicate that peak discharges at most gaging stations had recurrence intervals of 50-75 years. On September 1, 1942, the peak discharge of the Pecos River near Puerto de Luna was 48,600 ftVs (cubic feet per second), which has a recurrence interval greater than 100 years. Accounts by local residents indicate that the 1942 flood was of lesser magnitude than the 1904 flood.
      • 1965, June 17; There was no loss of human life, but property damage was estimated to be tens of millions of dollars (Snipes and others, 1974). 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. For example, on June 17, 1965. the peak discharge of the Vermejo River near Dawson was 12,600 ftYs (cubic feet per second), the peak discharge of record for that gaging station. 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.
      • 1978, December 18-19: The cool season from November 1978 until March of 1979 saw a series of upper level low pressure centers develop off the west coast near Baja California that subsequently produced frequent periods of widespread precipitation in Arizona and western New Mexico, with the most damaging event occurring on December 18-19, 1978. An early season rain event across southern New Mexico produced the heaviest and most extensive rainfall of the period. The warm rain melted snowpack and caused floods in and near the high terrain areas of southwest and south central New Mexico.

        Flooding with recurrence intervals of more than 100 years occurred on the Gila River above the San Francisco River. While the record crest at the Gila River near Gila, New Mexico, was recorded in the September 1941 event, the third highest recorded crest occurred on December 18, 1978. Many smaller streams ran over and the extensive flooding washed out bridges, inundated farmland, with considerable loss to unharvested crops, and isolated communities. Severe damage was sustained to roads, trails and campgrounds in the Gila Wilderness area. At Redrock, where the Gila River averages a width of 5 to 6 feet, a width of nearly 1 mile was observed during this event.

        To the east in south central New Mexico, the Rio Ruidoso and Rio Bonito in southern Lincoln County, New Mexico, also experienced flooding on December 19. Many residences were destroyed or damaged, small bridges were washed out, water supplies and sewers were torn up and 30 people were evacuated. There was one fatality.[Ref]
      • 1988, June 9; Flooding was localized and did not cause widespread damage. Floods on the Vermejo River near Dawson had recurrence intervals between 75 and 100 years.
      • 2006, August; A persistent monsoon regime was in place from late July through most of August, 2006, that resulted in numerous days of heavy rainfall and flash flooding and record amounts of precipitation in many locations. Glenwood, New Mexico, received about three times the average amount of precipitation, while Albuquerque, Grants, Ruidoso and Deming, New Mexico, all received double the average amount of precipitation. StormData lists 91 flash flood events, 5 days with longer-duration. There was widespread flooding and three fatalities reported in New Mexico from July 1 through September 15, 2006.

        While it is difficult to determine the single most damaging flood event, extensive flooding occurred on August 15 when runoff from heavy rains over the nearby Sierra De Las Uvas Mountains caused the Placitas Arroyo to breach, which sent a wall of water into the town of Hatch. Up to 4 feet of water entered businesses and residences across a widespread area. Mandatory evacuations of several hundred residents took place, including 150 people from an apartment complex, which eventually had to be condemned. All roads into and within Hatch were closed. Damages exceeded $4 million for this single event.[Ref]
      • 2008, July 26-28: The remnants of Hurricane Dolly brought tropical moisture into New Mexico, producing heavy precipitation as high as 7 inches around Ruidoso. This rain caused the Rio Ruidoso and Rio Bonito to rise well above flood level and widespread, serious flooding occurred from the upper canyon of the Rio Ruidoso downstream through the towns of Ruidoso, Hollywood and Ruidoso Downs as far east as Fox Caves. Flooding also occurred along the Rio Bonito from the dam at Bonito Lake downstream to State Road 48. The flooding was extensive in Ruidoso, not only along the Rio Ruidoso, Cedar Creek and other small streams, but also throughout the town. Local rain reports were 6.3 to 7.0 inches. One man was killed when he was swept away by the raging Rio Ruidoso; no substantial injuries were reported. A total of 500 structures, including campers and mobile homes were damaged. Around 200 houses were damaged, some were completely destroyed. At least 13 bridges were washed out and several cars were washed downstream. Several dozen recreational vehicles and campers were damaged at an RV park at Ruidoso Downs. Damages in Lincoln County alone were estimated to be $25 million.

        The remnants of Hurricane Dolly also impacted areas in south central New Mexico as the circulation associated with the system moved directly over El Paso, Texas, then curved north and northeastward into Otero County. Moisture from this system spread over most of southern New Mexico and lingered another 36 hours. Storm totals from early July 26 into the 27th peaked at more than 4 inches in the Santa Teresa Country Club area, with 2.5 to 3.5 inches of rain to southern Doña Ana County. Water was knee deep in Chaparral, New Mexico, and Highway 28 was flooded south of La Union. [Ref]

      Source: National Water Summary 1988-89 / Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts [PDF] page 411

      For more information:

      Winter Storms


      Regional snowfall index (RSI)[Ref-1] [Ref-2]

      Category RSI Value Description
      1 1—2.999 Notable
      2 3—5.99 Significant
      3 6—9.99 Major
      4 10—17.99 Crippling
      5 18.0+ Extreme


      • 2010, Feb 1-6; The February 5-6, 2010 North American blizzard formed on February 1, 2010 and moved ashore on the West Coast near Baja California Sur, Mexico, and moved north east. The storm moved off the east coast on Feb 6, 2010. The storm brought a mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and flooding, in Mexico the heavy rains resulting in at least 15 fatalities. The storm affected Arizona and New Mexico from February 1 to 4 with up to 1 foot of snow in the mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. On February 4, Oklahoma and northern Texas saw rain and snow, with severe thunderstorms further south. Feb. 4 brought widespread rainfall totals of 1 inch to 4 inches of rain were reported in portions of Central and Southern Mississippi. Jackson, MS, broke a daily rainfall record with 2.51 inches (6.4 cm) of rainfall. On Friday Feb, 5., power outages effecting about 40,000 customers, were reported in the North Carolina's mountain counties as the winter storm brought a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain to much of the state. A drenching rain fell early Friday in the Charlotte, NC, and in Atlanta, GA, which transitioned to a few inches of snow later in the day, while several inches of snow accumulated farther north. To the north, Howard, MD, received 38.3 inches of snow, while Washington Dulles International Airport measured 32.9 inches. Fatalities occurred in to Mexico, New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The storm was classed as a Category 3 ("major") nor'easter and severe weather event. [Ref]
      • 2011, Jan 31 - Feb 2; The January 31 - February 2, 2011 North American winter storm was situated around the US and Canada on Groundhog Day. The storm was rank as a Category 5 on the Regional Snowfall Index. The heavy snowfall, along with sleet and some freezing rain, began developing over Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle on the evening of January 31. The storm brought cold air, heavy snowfall, blowing snow, and mixed precipitation on a path from New Mexico and northern Texas to New England and Eastern Canada. The cold wave behind the storm's cold front left temperatures plunging to -18 °C (0 °F) in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and in the mountain area plunging to -9 °F, resulting in the deaths of at least six people in the coldest temperatures recorded in the area in at least half a century. In Chihuahua City, the temperature dropped to -1 °F. In New Mexico, up to two feet of snow fell in the Sangre de Cristo, and the Central Mountain Chain, while up to 6 inches fell in Albuquerque. Temperatures across Oklahoma on February 1st and 2nd hovered in the single digits to mid-teens with winds gust to near 60 miles per hour at times creating ground blizzard conditions across the eastern half of the state. In Texas, Dallas and Houston, experienced significant snowfall or ice accumulation. The state of Texas also experienced rolling blackouts due to the high demand for electricity.[Ref]
      • 2013, Feb 19 - March 6; The February 2013 Great Plains blizzard was a powerful Extratropical cyclone, winter storm, Blizzard that affected the Great Plains, and much of the United States. An extratropical disturbance developed in the Gulf of Alaska on Feb 19 and moved ashore in British Columbia. As the storm, moved southeastwards into the southern Plains it weakened and shrunk considerably in size. On Feb 25, the storm began absorbing moisture coming from the Gulf of Mexico, and intensified. A 400-mile stretch of Interstate 40 between Sayre, Oklahoma and Albuquerque, New Mexico, was closed for two days due to whiteout conditions. The storm systems dumped a large amounts of snow, icy mix, and rain across most of the Eastern United States, while slowly moving eastward.In Oklahoma a Major Disaster Declaration was declared on April 8, 2013 (DR-4109).[Ref]

      For more information:

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      1. Wikipedia - Portales, New Mexico   [Online],_NM
      2. Wikipedia - Folsom tradition   [Online]
      3. Wikipedia - History of New Mexico   [Online]
      4. IDcide - Portales, NM   [Online]

      Last Update: October 15, 2017

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