NMSU: Eighteen Years (1990-2007) of Climatological Data on NMSU's Corona Range and Livestock Research Center
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Eighteen Years (1990-2007) of Climatological Data on NMSU's Corona Range and Livestock Research Center


Research Report 761
L. Allen Torrell, Kirk C. McDaniel, Shad Cox, Suman Majumdar
College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University


Authors: Respectively, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business; Professor, Department of Animal and Range Sciences; Superintendent, Corona Range and Livestock Research Center; and former Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, all of New Mexico State University. (Print friendly PDF)

Introduction

Range forage production on the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center (CRLRC) is tied closely to climate and weather conditions, especially seasonal rainfall amounts. Range and livestock management decisions are dependent on weather information and informed judgment about what those weather conditions will be in the near and distant future. Further, numerous research projects conducted at the CRLRC are influenced by climatological factors and require historical and current data about weather conditions.

The objectives of this research report are to describe the climatic data of the CRLRC over the 18-year period for which detailed climate data exist, and to provide a baseline method by which these data can be updated and made available online for use by CRLRC researchers and others interested in weather conditions near Corona, New Mexico. These weather data are updated regularly and are available from the Corona Ranch web site (NMSU-CRLRC, 2007) at http://agecon.nmsu.edu/corona. The charts and tables provided in this report link the reader to appropriate spreadsheets and databases available online. Many of these charts are presented as pivot charts and pivot tables in Access and Excel. The knowledgeable user can download, query, and extract updated data for their specific use. Additional daily and hourly data not reported in this research report are available at the web site. An intermediate knowledge of Access and Excel is assumed for electronic data access.

Weather Data Available for the Corona Ranch

The weather data reported for the CRLRC were accumulated from multiple sources, including four instrumented weather stations located on the ranch and eight rainfall gauges scattered at various locations across the ranch (Figure 1). The data are available for various temporal scales, from long-term averages down to seasonal, monthly, daily, and hourly averages. Daily and hourly weather observations are not reported in this research report but are available in spreadsheets and databases maintained at the Corona Ranch web site. The data are in varying degrees of completeness, especially at the hourly level.

Fig. 1: Map showing weather monitoring locations on the Corona Ranch.

Figure1. Weather monitoring locations on the Corona Ranch.


Weather observations have been made on the Corona Ranch since 1990, at instrumented research sites referred to as South House (SH) (Latitude: 34° 16' 43" N, Longitude: 105° 23' 35" W, Elevation: 6,032 feet) and Oil Well (OW) (Latitude: 34° 17' 9" N, Longitude: 105° 21' 37" W, Elevation: 5,924 feet). Recorded data include hourly measurements of precipitation, air temperature, soil temperature at 10 cm (4 inches) and 50 cm (20 inches), relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and soil moisture at 10 cm (4 inches) and between 10 cm and 30 cm (4–12 inches). Approximately 88% of the elapsed hours over the July 1990 through 2007 period recorded a reading that appeared correct and was not clearly a missing or invalid recording.

Missing data for selected variables were substituted in the database from other automated weather stations located on the ranch, primarily the other research site (SH or OW) when available, and the NMSU New Mexico Climate Center automated weather station located at the North Camp facility on the Corona Ranch (NMCC, 2007). A paired t-test of all annual rainfall totals at SH and OW, excluding replaced data, indicated that rainfall totals were not statistically different between the two sites.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data from the Ramon and Corona 10 SW sites (WRCC, 2007) were also used to fill in missing data from 1990 through 1992. Variables are included in the Access database that identify which records were replaced from alternative sources and from where the data came. With these substitutions, the Access file titled "Corona_SH_and_OW_Weather_Data.mdb" includes a complete daily record for rainfall amounts over the period July 17, 1990 through December 31, 2007. Hourly estimates are provided over most days for both research sites.

Located at the North Camp facility (Latitude: 34° 17' 47.98" N, Longitude: 105° 23' 44.74" W, Elevation: 6,155 feet) on the Corona Ranch is another automated weather station included in the NMSU Climate Network, with weather observations made since 1993. Reported data include daily measurements of temperature, humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction, solar radiation, and soil temperature (NMCC, 2007). These data are available online at http://weather.nmsu.edu and are not reported here.

Historical weather data, recorded prior to 1990, are not available on the Corona Ranch, but various estimates from nearby cooperating weather sites linked from the New Mexico Climate Center (NMCC, 2007) and from other Western Regional cooperator weather stations (NMCC, 2007; UCC, 2007) are available. Relevant cooperator sites include the Corona site (1914 –1977; WRCC, 2007; inactive station), Corona 11 SW (December 1977–September 1992; WRCC, 2007; inactive station), Corona 10 SW (October 1992–May 2006; UCC, 2007; active station), and Ramon 8 SW (March 1957–May 2006; UCC 2007; active station).

Soil volumetric water content (volume of water per volume of soil) at the SH and OW sites was recorded starting in 2001, using time domain reflectory (TDR) moisture probes (CS 615-L, Campbell Scientific Inc., Logan, UT, 1996). The two TDR probes are buried in the same configuration at each site, with one placed horizontally into the soil profile at a 10 cm depth and with the second probe positioned vertically at a 10 to 30 cm depth. All instrument readings are taken at one-minute intervals and averaged hourly.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) maintains a Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) site on the Corona Ranch referred to as the "Adams site" (Figure 1) (Latitude: 34° 15' N, Longitude: 105° 25' W, Elevation: 6,175 feet). Automated SCAN sites collect soil moisture and soil temperature data along with precipitation, wind, and solar radiation data. SCAN sites are located throughout the United States and other global locations, and the data are used for the management and prediction of climatic issues affecting natural resources. The Adams site facility records hourly with soil moisture measured at 2, 4, 8, 20, and 40 inches (NRCS, 2007). Soil moisture data recorded at the NRCS Adams site use a TDR Hydra Probe II (Stevens Water Monitoring Systems, 2007). Though the Adams site was initiated in 1994, rainfall measurements appear to be complete and accurate only after October 2003. Apparently, valid soil moisture measurements begin at the Adams site in 1997. The Adams site data are downloaded monthly and maintained on the Corona web site in a database called "Adams_Weather.mdb."

Results

Rainfall

Long-term average rainfall for the Corona, New Mexico, area recorded between 1914 and 2006 was 14.6 inches with a standard deviation of 4.7 inches (Table 1). The minimum annual rainfall over the 1914–2007 period occurred in 1917 (5.81 inches) and the maximum occurred in 1941 (36 inches) (Figure 2). A similar extreme was recorded in many parts of New Mexico during 1941.


Table 1. Average, Minimum, Maximum, and Median Precipitation (in inches with mm in parentheses) Recorded by Month At or Near the Corona Ranch, 1914–2006.

Month Average Standard Deviation Minimum Maximum Median n

Jan

0.64 (15.9)

0.71 (16.3)

0.00 (0.0)

4.84 (92.0)

0.51 (12.8)

92

Feb

0.70 (17.5)

0.72 (17.4)

0.00 (0.0)

3.83 (88.1)

0.52 (13.8)

92

Mar

0.74 (18.9)

0.73 (18.4)

0.00 (0.0)

3.30 (83.8)

0.54 (13.7)

92

Apr

0.73 (18.5)

0.95 (24.2)

0.00 (0.0)

5.81 (147.6)

0.40 (10.3)

92

May

1.11 (28.3)

1.13 (28.7)

0.00 (0.0)

5.91 (150.1)

0.82 (20.8)

92

Jun

1.27 (32.2)

1.06 (26.7)

0.00 (0.0)

5.40 (137.2)

0.99 (25.1)

92

Jul

2.45 (62.4)

1.36 (34.3)

0.10 (2.5)

5.56 (141.2)

2.19 (57.1)

92

Aug

2.75 (69.9)

1.55 (39.4)

0.00 (0.0)

7.68 (195.1)

2.45 (62.2)

92

Sep

1.70 (43.2)

1.48 (37.7)

0.00 (0.0)

9.08 (230.6)

1.47 (37.3)

92

Oct

1.13 (28.8)

1.02 (25.9)

0.00 (0.0)

4.54 (115.3)

0.86 (21.8)

92

Nov

0.59 (15.0)

0.62 (15.8)

0.00 (0.0)

3.04 (77.2)

0.45 (11.4)

92

Dec

0.77 (19.5)

0.76 (19.2)

0.00 (0.0)

3.30 (83.8)

0.51 (13.0)

92

Annual

14.59 (370.1)

4.68 (118.6)

5.81 (147.6)

36.11 (917.2)

14.36 (364.8)

92

Period: 1914–2006 (excluding 1977, when data was very incomplete). Weather Stations: Corona (1914–1976), NOAA Corona 11W (1976–1989), Oil Well and South House with some data from NOAA (1990–2006).


Fig. 2: Bar graph showing historical Corona area seasonal and annual rainfall amounts.

Figure 2. Historical Corona area seasonal and annual rainfall amounts.


Tables 2 through 4 show monthly rainfall amounts recorded at automated weather stations located at the SH, OW, and Adams sites (inches, mm, and combined averages across sites). Table 5 (inches) and Table 6 (mm) show monthly rainfall totals recorded at rain gauges scattered across the ranch (Figure 1). Figure 3 graphs average annual amounts recorded at the SH and OW sites. The 6-month growing season rainfall (considered to be April–October) usually made up well over half of the annual total rainfall amount. Seasonal extremes were realized in both 2005 and 2006. The winter of 2004–2005 was one of the wettest on record, whereas no daily rainfall total exceeded 6 mm (0.25 inches) on the ranch from mid-October 2005 until May 2006. This is not unlike many areas in New Mexico where drought conditions that started in the late 1990s were interrupted in late 2004 with one of the wettest winters on record, followed by a normal to above-average moisture year once the monsoon season started in June 2006. For some locations in the state, November 2005 to May 2006 precipitation was the lowest historically recorded amount.


Table 2. Total Monthly Precipitation (inches) Recorded at OW, SH, and Adams Weather Stations, 1990–2007*
.

Site OW

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1990

0.57

0.89

1.12

0.86

0.70

0.24

3.07

0.00

1.63

0.56

0.40

0.30

10.34

1991

0.20

0.17

0.45

0.00

1.34

0.93

3.58

2.69

2.63

0.69

1.40

2.42

16.50

1992

1.28

0.44

1.12

0.58

5.37

0.97

2.46

2.68

0.46

0.70

0.18

0.30

16.54

1993

0.68

0.48

0.19

0.23

0.78

1.59

1.65

1.66

0.31

1.65

0.55

0.15

9.92

1994

0.10

0.08

0.54

0.52

4.24

0.83

2.08

3.79

1.64

1.19

0.76

0.73

16.50

1995

0.31

0.28

0.61

0.41

0.59

0.96

2.07

2.10

1.71

0.00

0.06

0.25

9.35

1996

0.13

0.26

0.07

0.03

0.00

3.01

4.80

5.05

2.08

1.28

0.32

0.00

17.03

1997

0.15

1.12

0.11

2.18

1.13

3.34

1.52

4.17

2.51

0.65

0.52

0.94

18.34

1998

0.06

0.52

1.24

0.53

0.00

0.01

2.46

3.97

1.28

3.12

0.21

0.38

13.78

1999

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.65

1.20

1.48

3.41

1.69

1.16

0.35

0.00

0.17

10.11

2000

0.00

0.01

1.01

0.28

0.01

2.16

0.41

0.50

0.04

2.81

0.41

0.25

7.89

2001

0.42

0.70

0.75

0.18

1.11

0.70

1.45

2.78

0.93

0.20

1.22

0.20

10.64

2002

0.10

0.37

0.13

0.02

0.00

0.69

3.75

1.50

2.83

1.16

0.23

0.80

11.59

2003

0.00

0.25

0.36

0.30

0.41

0.31

1.73

0.82

0.44

1.07

0.54

0.24

6.47

2004

0.30

0.49

0.12

4.54

0.12

1.90

2.36

2.71

0.87

2.11

0.73

0.36

16.61

2005

4.84

3.83

0.62

0.26

2.55

0.00

0.00

1.19

1.38

1.19

0.01

0.00

15.86

2006

0.00

0.00

0.10

0.21

0.35

0.82

2.82

5.85

1.99

2.62

0.00

0.16

14.92

2007

0.00

0.17

1.51

0.41

2.87

1.65

1.37

1.03

2.03

0.49

0.55

0.42

12.50

Average

0.51

0.56

0.56

0.68

1.27

1.20

2.28

2.45

1.44

1.21

0.45

0.45

13.05


Site SH

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1990

0.57

0.89

1.12

0.86

0.70

0.24

2.28

0.00

1.63

0.56

0.41

0.29

9.55

1991

0.18

0.17

0.41

0.00

1.34

1.17

3.58

4.32

2.63

0.69

1.35

2.42

18.26

1992

1.28

0.44

1.30

0.53

5.36

0.62

0.04

0.77

0.67

0.73

0.16

0.21

12.11

1993

0.74

0.53

0.30

0.08

0.66

1.30

1.90

1.66

0.25

0.98

0.58

0.17

9.15

1994

0.09

0.09

0.50

0.39

3.79

0.74

1.82

2.22

1.53

1.10

0.74

0.74

13.75

1995

0.30

0.26

0.61

0.33

0.77

0.89

1.86

2.81

1.89

0.01

0.06

0.20

9.99

1996

0.16

0.20

0.06

0.02

0.00

3.01

4.80

5.05

2.08

1.28

0.32

0.00

16.98

1997

0.19

1.07

0.10

2.09

1.25

3.63

1.52

4.17

2.51

0.65

0.52

0.94

18.64

1998

0.00

0.20

1.02

0.48

0.03

0.01

2.71

3.75

1.47

2.81

0.20

0.33

13.01

1999

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.55

1.63

1.44

3.27

1.53

1.30

0.28

0.00

0.14

10.14

2000

0.00

0.00

0.92

0.28

0.05

2.04

0.41

0.50

0.04

3.15

0.40

0.19

7.98

2001

0.36

0.72

0.60

0.25

1.55

0.64

1.76

1.77

1.47

0.27

1.50

0.22

11.11

2002

0.19

0.34

0.21

0.02

0.00

0.69

3.50

1.83

3.46

1.13

0.40

0.89

12.67

2003

0.00

0.24

0.40

0.30

0.67

0.47

0.96

1.21

0.30

1.09

0.55

0.30

6.49

2004

0.26

0.52

0.15

4.12

0.24

1.18

1.98

3.96

0.92

1.90

0.68

0.36

16.27

2005

4.84

3.83

0.68

0.26

2.17

0.94

0.91

2.65

1.21

1.10

0.01

0.00

18.59

2006

0.00

0.00

0.12

0.15

0.26

0.89

3.55

6.74

2.03

2.52

0.00

0.16

16.42

2007

0.00

0.08

1.10

0.39

3.18

1.63

1.73

0.58

2.85

0.00

0.55

0.42

12.51

Average

0.51

0.53

0.53

0.62

1.31

1.20

2.14

2.53

1.57

1.12

0.47

0.44

12.98


Site Adams

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

2004

0.30

0.64

0.17

4.33

0.48

1.23

2.49

2.49

0.77

1.65

0.63

0.15

15.33

2005

1.19

1.08

0.62

0.26

2.44

1.13

1.11

3.15

1.20

1.13

0.00

0.00

13.31

2006

0.00

0.00

0.09

0.27

0.32

1.33

2.79

6.02

2.24

2.65

0.00

0.02

15.73

2007

0.35

0.09

0.92

0.76

2.73

1.43

1.54

1.25

2.39

0.48

0.04

0.88

12.86

Average

0.46

0.45

0.45

1.41

1.49

1.28

1.98

3.23

1.65

1.48

0.17

0.26

14.31

*Bold number is highest recorded monthly precipitation over the period. Rows with incomplete data are not included in the average.



Table 3. Total Monthly Precipitation (mm) Recorded at OW, SH and Adams Weather Stations, 1990–2007*.

Site OW

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1990

14

23

28

22

18

6

78

0

41

14

10

8

263

1991

5

4

11

0

34

24

91

68

67

18

36

61

419

1992

33

11

28

15

136

25

62

68

12

18

5

8

420

1993

17

12

5

6

20

40

42

42

8

42

14

4

252

1994

3

2

14

13

108

21

53

96

42

30

19

19

419

1995

8

7

15

10

15

24

53

53

43

0

2

6

237

1996

3

7

2

1

0

76

122

128

53

33

8

0

433

1997

4

28

3

55

29

85

39

106

64

17

13

24

466

1998

2

13

31

13

0

0

62

101

33

79

5

10

350

1999

0

0

0

17

30

38

87

43

29

9

0

4

257

2000

0

0

26

7

0

55

10

13

1

71

10

6

200

2001

11

18

19

5

28

18

37

71

24

5

31

5

270

2002

3

9

3

1

0

18

95

38

72

29

6

20

294

2003

0

6

9

8

10

8

44

21

11

27

14

6

164

2004

8

12

3

115

3

48

60

69

22

54

19

9

422

2005

123

97

16

7

65

0

0

30

35

30

0

0

403

2006

0

0

3

5

9

21

72

149

51

67

0

4

379

2007

0

4

38

10

73

42

35

26

52

12

14

11

317

Average

13

14

14

17

32

30

58

62

37

31

11

11

331


Site SH

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1990

14

23

28

22

18

6

58

0

41

14

10

7

243

1991

5

4

10

0

34

30

91

110

67

18

34

61

464

1992

33

11

33

13

136

16

1

20

17

19

4

5

308

1993

19

13

8

2

17

33

48

42

6

25

15

4

232

1994

2

2

13

10

96

19

46

56

39

28

19

19

349

1995

8

7

15

8

20

23

47

71

48

0

2

5

254

1996

4

5

2

1

0

76

122

128

53

33

8

0

431

1997

5

27

3

53

32

92

39

106

64

17

13

24

473

1998

0

5

26

12

1

0

69

95

37

71

5

8

330

1999

0

0

0

14

41

37

83

39

33

7

0

4

258

2000

0

0

23

7

1

52

10

13

1

80

10

5

203

2001

9

18

15

6

39

16

45

45

37

7

38

6

282

2002

5

9

5

1

0

18

89

46

88

29

10

23

322

2003

0

6

10

8

17

12

24

31

8

28

14

8

165

2004

7

13

4

105

6

30

50

101

23

48

17

9

413

2005

123

97

17

7

55

24

23

67

31

28

0

0

472

2006

0

0

3

4

7

23

90

171

52

64

0

4

417

2007

0

2

28

10

81

41

44

15

72

0

14

11

318

Average

13

14

14

16

33

30

54

64

40

29

12

11

330


Site Adams

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

2004

8

16

4

110

12

31

63

63

20

42

16

4

389

2005

30

27

16

7

62

29

28

80

30

29

0

0

338

2006

0

0

2

7

8

34

71

153

57

67

0

1

400

2007

9

2

23

19

69

36

39

32

61

12

1

22

327

Average

12

11

11

36

38

33

50

82

42

38

4

7

363

*Bold number is highest recorded monthly precipitation over the period. Rows with incomplete data are not included in the average.



Table 4a. Average Total Monthly Precipitation (inches) Averaged Across OW and SH Weather Stations.*

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Apr-Oct Total

Winter Total

Annual Total

1990

0.57

0.89

1.12

0.86

0.70

0.24

2.67

0.00

1.63

0.56

0.40

0.29

6.66

3.28

9.94

1991

0.19

0.17

0.43

0.00

1.34

1.05

3.58

3.50

2.63

0.69

1.37

2.42

12.79

4.59

17.38

1992

1.28

0.44

1.21

0.56

5.36

0.79

1.25

1.73

0.56

0.71

0.17

0.25

10.97

3.35

14.32

1993

0.71

0.50

0.24

0.15

0.72

1.44

1.77

1.66

0.28

1.32

0.56

0.16

7.35

2.18

9.53

1994

0.09

0.08

0.52

0.45

4.02

0.79

1.95

3.01

1.58

1.14

0.75

0.73

12.94

2.18

15.13

1995

0.30

0.27

0.61

0.37

0.68

0.92

1.97

2.45

1.80

0.00

0.06

0.22

8.20

1.47

9.67

1996

0.14

0.23

0.06

0.02

0.00

3.01

4.80

5.05

2.08

1.28

0.32

0.00

16.25

0.76

17.01

1997

0.17

1.09

0.10

2.14

1.19

3.49

1.52

4.17

2.51

0.65

0.52

0.94

15.66

2.83

18.49

1998

0.03

0.36

1.13

0.50

0.01

0.01

2.59

3.86

1.37

2.96

0.20

0.35

11.32

2.08

13.40

1999

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.60

1.41

1.46

3.34

1.61

1.23

0.31

0.00

0.15

9.97

0.15

10.13

2000

0.00

0.00

0.97

0.28

0.03

2.10

0.41

0.50

0.04

2.98

0.40

0.22

6.34

1.60

7.93

2001

0.39

0.71

0.67

0.21

1.33

0.67

1.60

2.28

1.20

0.23

1.36

0.21

7.53

3.34

10.87

2002

0.14

0.35

0.17

0.02

0.00

0.69

3.62

1.66

3.14

1.14

0.31

0.84

10.29

1.83

12.13

2003

0.00

0.24

0.38

0.30

0.54

0.39

1.34

1.02

0.37

1.08

0.54

0.27

5.04

1.44

6.48

2004

0.28

0.50

0.13

4.33

0.18

1.54

2.17

3.33

0.89

2.00

0.70

0.36

14.46

1.98

16.44

2005

4.84

3.83

0.65

0.26

2.36

0.47

0.45

1.92

1.29

1.14

0.01

0.00

7.90

9.32

17.23

2006

0.00

0.00

0.11

0.18

0.30

0.85

3.18

6.30

2.01

2.57

0.00

0.16

15.40

0.27

15.67

2007

0.00

0.12

1.31

0.40

3.03

1.64

1.55

0.80

2.44

0.24

0.55

0.42

10.10

2.40

12.50

Average

0.51

0.55

0.55

0.65

1.29

1.20

2.21

2.49

1.50

1.17

0.46

0.45

10.51

2.50

13.01



Table 4b. Average Total Monthly Precipitation (mm) Averaged Across OW and SH Weather Stations.*

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Apr-Oct Total

Winter Total

Annual Total

1990

14

23

28

22

18

6

68

0

41

14

10

7

169

83

253

1991

5

4

11

0

34

27

91

89

67

18

35

61

325

116

441

1992

33

11

31

14

136

20

32

44

14

18

4

6

279

85

364

1993

18

13

6

4

18

37

45

42

7

33

14

4

187

55

242

1994

2

2

13

12

102

20

50

76

40

29

19

19

329

55

384

1995

8

7

15

9

17

23

50

62

46

0

2

6

208

37

246

1996

4

6

2

1

0

76

122

128

53

33

8

0

413

19

432

1997

4

28

3

54

30

89

39

106

64

17

13

24

398

72

470

1998

1

9

29

13

0

0

66

98

35

75

5

9

287

53

340

1999

0

0

0

15

36

37

85

41

31

8

0

4

253

4

257

2000

0

0

25

7

1

53

10

13

1

76

10

6

161

41

202

2001

10

18

17

5

34

17

41

58

30

6

35

5

191

85

276

2002

4

9

4

1

0

18

92

42

80

29

8

21

261

47

308

2003

0

6

10

8

14

10

34

26

9

27

14

7

128

37

165

2004

7

13

3

110

5

39

55

85

23

51

18

9

367

50

418

2005

123

97

17

7

60

12

12

49

33

29

0

0

201

237

438

2006

0

0

3

5

8

22

81

160

51

65

0

4

391

7

398

2007

0

3

33

10

77

42

39

20

62

6

14

11

257

61

318

Average

13

14

14

16

33

30

56

63

38

30

12

11

267

64

331

*Bold number is highest recorded monthly precipitation over the period. Rows with incomplete data are not included in the average.



Table 5. Total Monthly Precipitation (inches) Recorded at Various Rain Gauges, 1994–2007.

Site HQ

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1994

0.00

0.00

0.95

0.97

3.27

1.13

2.79

2.36

1.17

0.92

1.00

0.75

15.31

1995

0.29

0.00

1.25

0.00

0.65

0.82

2.28

3.17

2.21

0.00

0.00

0.13

10.81

1996

0.00

0.82

0.00

0.00

0.00

1.98

4.79

5.00

3.03

2.16

0.15

0.00

17.94

1997

0.83

0.63

0.49

0.94

1.36

5.60

2.19

4.96

3.84

0.70

0.70

2.48

24.73

1998

0.00

0.20

1.62

0.70

0.10

0.00

2.55

3.45

0.61

3.39

1.32

0.47

14.41

1999

0.48

0.00

1.21

0.68

2.01

2.38

2.83

4.23

0.68

0.33

0.00

0.57

15.40

2000

0.01

0.00

1.17

0.62

0.01

1.29

1.11

1.06

0.19

2.85

1.69

1.09

11.09

2001

1.60

0.73

1.22

0.26

1.41

0.86

5.03

1.86

4.01

0.30

1.55

0.19

19.03

2002

0.58

0.00

0.40

0.04

0.00

0.21

4.36

1.97

3.58

1.33

0.60

2.32

15.39

2003

0.00

0.30

0.00

0.95

0.18

0.37

0.96

3.53

0.36

1.24

1.37

0.31

9.57

2004

1.30

1.98

0.58

6.18

0.11

1.55

2.41

3.49

1.22

2.94

2.04

0.56

24.37

2005

1.11

0.85

0.90

0.14

3.62

1.14

0.41

2.60

1.54

1.39

0.00

0.00

13.70

2006

0.00

0.00

0.12

0.02

0.50

0.78

2.96

6.09

1.31

1.43

0.28

0.70

14.19

2007

0.73

0.46

1.33

0.32

3.99

1.56

1.22

1.23

2.87

0.34

0.00

0.90

14.95

Average

0.50

0.43

0.80

0.84

1.23

1.41

2.56

3.22

1.90

1.38

0.76

0.75

15.78

Site NC

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1994

           

1.22

3.13

1.38

0.87

0.59

0.61

 

1995

0.23

0.00

0.80

0.00

0.59

0.79

2.73

2.80

2.01

0.00

0.00

0.14

10.10

1996

0.00

0.48

0.02

0.00

0.00

2.37

4.93

5.66

2.35

2.27

0.12

0.00

18.21

1997

1.01

0.68

0.36

1.32

1.31

4.24

1.86

3.95

4.40

1.04

0.00

1.13

21.30

1998

0.00

0.33

1.29

0.53

0.03

0.02

3.41

3.45

1.40

2.25

1.22

0.46

14.39

1999

0.35

0.00

0.95

0.34

1.70

1.40

3.43

2.53

1.89

0.21

0.00

0.40

13.20

2000

0.02

0.00

0.91

0.49

0.01

1.19

2.03

0.88

0.25

4.06

1.26

0.64

11.74

2001

1.54

0.66

0.68

0.20

1.78

0.89

2.98

2.43

1.37

0.27

2.76

0.13

15.70

2002

0.59

0.00

0.70

0.16

0.00

0.37

3.12

1.28

4.19

1.33

0.42

2.10

14.26

2003

0.00

0.26

0.46

0.32

0.00

0.47

1.14

2.16

0.28

1.83

0.60

0.14

7.66

2004

1.43

2.20

0.50

4.69

0.02

1.53

1.35

3.15

1.16

2.36

0.55

0.06

19.00

2005

1.01

0.79

0.59

0.08

4.00

1.35

0.94

2.97

1.35

1.26

0.00

0.00

14.34

2006

0.00

0.00

0.05

0.22

0.38

0.88

3.35

7.75

1.94

2.62

0.21

0.60

18.00

2007

1.65

0.28

1.23

0.45

3.41

1.94

2.53

0.45

2.97

0.60

0.40

0.53

16.44

Average

0.60

0.44

0.66

0.68

1.02

1.34

2.50

3.04

1.92

1.50

0.58

0.50

14.95

Site C

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1999

           

2.88

2.34

1.65

0.42

     

2000

     

0.17

0.00

0.52

1.05

0.34

0.18

2.91

     

2001

     

0.14

1.77

0.92

1.71

1.96

1.54

0.32

     

2002

     

0.17

0.00

0.81

3.34

1.62

2.91

1.36

0.34

1.96

 

2003

0.00

0.17

0.15

0.34

0.00

0.65

0.64

2.19

0.16

1.06

0.60

0.14

6.10

2004

1.41

1.42

0.41

4.54

0.01

2.01

2.60

4.57

1.14

2.29

0.62

0.08

21.10

2005

1.07

1.10

0.87

0.07

1.88

0.95

1.34

3.32

2.09

1.08

0.00

0.00

13.77

2006

0.00

0.00

0.04

0.16

0.36

0.93

3.53

7.02

2.06

2.77

0.22

0.64

17.73

2007

0.88

0.21

1.31

0.37

2.61

1.20

1.99

0.27

2.30

0.51

0.45

0.50

12.60

Average

0.67

0.58

0.56

0.75

0.83

1.00

2.12

2.63

1.56

1.41

0.37

0.55

14.26

Site Corrals/K

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1994

         

0.00

1.16

2.01

2.68

0.90

0.70

0.70

 

1995

0.26

0.00

0.60

0.00

0.55

1.25

2.02

2.78

1.83

0.00

0.00

0.20

9.49

1996

0.00

0.66

0.05

0.00

0.00

3.11

4.56

3.97

1.96

0.89

0.00

0.00

15.21

1997

0.70

0.66

0.34

2.55

1.42

3.55

1.67

3.52

2.00

0.69

0.14

0.99

18.23

1998

0.00

0.28

1.08

0.48

0.00

0.03

3.42

5.40

0.34

3.37

1.48

0.54

16.42

1999

0.33

0.00

0.94

0.48

1.81

1.63

3.78

2.18

2.06

0.28

     

2000

     

0.19

0.00

0.23

2.77

1.03

0.16

2.93

     

2001

     

0.13

1.91

0.99

1.54

1.98

2.39

0.34

     

2002

     

0.15

0.00

0.67

3.10

1.98

4.31

1.37

0.28

1.95

 

2003

0.00

0.12

0.19

0.36

0.00

0.89

0.83

1.92

0.27

1.02

0.62

0.13

6.35

2004

0.73

1.13

0.18

4.69

0.00

1.40

2.28

3.33

1.29

2.01

0.69

0.07

17.81

2005

1.14

1.13

0.73

0.09

1.71

0.35

1.55

3.67

3.55

1.32

0.00

0.00

15.24

2006

0.00

0.00

0.05

0.16

0.36

0.54

3.68

8.06

2.47

2.90

0.24

0.55

19.01

2007

0.51

0.22

1.40

0.26

2.57

1.14

1.05

0.24

1.92

0.60

0.39

0.47

10.77

Average

0.37

0.42

0.56

0.73

0.79

1.13

2.39

3.01

1.95

1.33

0.41

0.51

14.28

Site J

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1999

           

4.07

2.41

1.37

0.43

0.00

   

2000

     

0.14

0.00

0.28

1.01

0.59

0.28

3.25

     

2001

     

0.24

1.36

0.42

2.32

3.04

2.38

0.32

     

2002

     

0.10

0.00

0.44

3.97

2.04

3.38

1.51

0.21

1.86

 

2003

0.00

0.17

0.01

0.27

0.00

1.82

0.95

1.22

0.26

1.08

0.64

0.07

6.49

2004

0.24

1.01

0.29

6.09

0.00

1.52

2.12

2.61

1.59

2.34

0.84

0.07

18.72

2005

1.16

1.20

0.99

0.30

1.52

0.26

0.91

4.03

3.29

1.57

0.00

0.00

15.23

2006

0.00

0.00

0.06

0.20

0.45

0.76

4.52

6.85

3.53

3.05

0.15

0.57

20.14

2007

0.16

0.19

1.25

0.28

3.88

0.92

0.26

0.00

2.54

0.60

0.43

0.44

10.95

Average

0.31

0.51

0.52

0.95

0.90

0.80

2.24

2.53

2.07

1.57

0.32

0.50

14.31

Site Johnson

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1994

         

0.00

1.20

2.62

0.98

0.70

0.55

0.25

 

1995

0.08

0.00

0.75

0.00

0.40

1.39

1.56

1.17

0.93

0.00

0.00

0.32

6.61

1996

0.00

0.58

0.02

0.00

0.00

3.01

3.17

2.14

3.85

0.40

0.00

0.00

13.18

1997

0.70

0.40

0.19

2.00

0.47

3.11

1.39

5.12

2.01

0.37

0.00

1.75

17.52

1998

0.00

0.28

1.75

0.81

0.00

0.05

2.62

3.69

0.66

2.03

1.19

0.52

13.60

1999

0.13

0.00

0.79

1.69

1.35

2.91

2.30

1.05

1.32

0.28

     

2000

     

0.16

0.00

0.27

2.25

0.54

0.14

2.92

     

2001

     

0.35

1.08

0.87

1.54

2.20

0.98

0.37

     

2002

     

0.04

0.00

0.42

3.37

2.22

2.93

1.40

0.17

1.71

 

2003

0.00

0.00

0.05

0.37

0.00

1.70

0.29

3.13

0.39

1.01

0.62

0.03

7.59

2004

0.38

0.91

0.00

3.43

0.00

0.98

1.93

2.73

1.51

3.53

0.48

0.04

15.93

2005

0.85

0.87

0.53

0.16

1.78

0.21

1.33

3.50

3.83

1.40

0.00

0.00

14.46

2006

0.00

0.00

0.05

0.19

0.45

0.33

4.04

6.17

4.23

2.65

0.13

0.49

18.73

2007

0.03

0.24

0.66

0.13

2.39

0.72

0.00

0.00

3.15

0.85

0.00

0.40

8.58

Average

0.22

0.33

0.48

0.72

0.61

1.14

1.93

2.59

1.92

1.28

0.29

0.50

12.91

Site Sheep

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1999

           

3.38

2.17

1.22

0.16

0.00

   

2000

     

0.20

0.01

0.82

4.20

0.58

0.18

2.99

     

2001

     

0.22

1.62

0.82

2.33

3.16

2.09

0.29

     

2002

     

0.00

0.00

0.43

3.30

1.50

2.77

1.24

0.39

2.05

 

2003

0.00

0.16

0.32

0.44

0.00

0.31

1.10

1.97

0.38

1.03

0.58

0.08

6.37

2004

1.07

1.04

0.27

4.71

0.00

1.68

1.47

2.75

1.20

2.30

0.56

0.06

17.12

2005

1.06

0.83

0.41

0.06

2.41

0.47

1.61

3.43

1.51

1.26

0.00

0.00

13.05

2006

0.00

0.00

0.02

0.12

0.38

0.62

3.13

6.57

2.22

2.71

0.17

0.53

16.47

2007

0.22

0.14

1.05

0.16

3.06

1.41

0.89

0.32

2.50

0.56

0.38

0.45

11.14

Average

0.47

0.43

0.41

0.74

0.94

0.82

2.38

2.49

1.56

1.39

0.30

0.53

12.83



Table 6. Total Monthly Precipitation (mm) Recorded at Various Rain Gauges, 1994–2007.

Site Q

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1994

0

0

24

25

83

29

71

60

30

23

25

19

389

1995

7

0

32

0

17

21

58

81

56

0

0

3

275

1996

0

21

0

0

0

50

122

127

77

55

4

0

456

1997

21

16

12

24

35

142

56

126

98

18

18

63

628

1998

0

5

41

18

3

0

65

88

15

86

34

12

366

1999

12

0

31

17

51

60

72

107

17

8

0

14

391

2000

0

0

30

16

0

33

28

27

5

72

43

28

282

2001

41

19

31

7

36

22

128

47

102

8

39

5

483

2002

15

0

10

1

0

5

111

50

91

34

15

59

391

2003

0

8

0

24

5

9

24

90

9

31

35

8

243

2004

33

50

15

157

3

39

61

89

31

75

52

14

619

2005

28

22

23

4

92

29

10

66

39

35

0

0

348

2006

0

0

3

1

13

20

75

155

33

36

7

18

360

2007

19

12

34

8

101

40

31

31

73

9

0

23

380

Average

13

11

20

21

31

36

65

82

48

35

19

19

401

Site NC

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1994

0

0

0

0

0

0

31

80

35

22

15

15

198

1995

6

0

20

0

15

20

69

71

51

0

0

4

256

1996

0

12

1

0

0

60

125

144

60

58

3

0

462

1997

26

17

9

34

33

108

47

100

112

26

0

29

541

1998

0

8

33

13

1

1

87

88

36

57

31

12

366

1999

9

0

24

9

43

36

87

64

48

5

0

10

335

2000

1

0

23

12

0

30

52

22

6

103

32

16

298

2001

39

17

17

5

45

23

76

62

35

7

70

3

399

2002

15

0

18

4

0

9

79

33

106

34

11

53

362

2003

0

7

12

8

0

12

29

55

7

46

15

4

195

2004

36

56

13

119

1

39

34

80

29

60

14

2

483

2005

26

20

15

2

102

34

24

75

34

32

0

0

364

2006

0

0

1

6

10

22

85

197

49

67

5

15

457

2007

42

7

31

11

87

49

64

11

75

15

10

13

418

Average

14

10

15

16

24

32

64

77

49

38

15

13

367

Site C

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1999

0

0

0

0

0

0

73

59

42

11

0

0

185

2000

0

0

0

4

0

13

27

9

5

74

0

0

131

2001

0

0

0

4

45

23

43

50

39

8

0

0

212

2002

0

0

0

4

0

21

85

41

74

35

9

50

318

2003

0

4

4

9

0

17

16

56

4

27

15

4

155

2004

36

36

10

115

0

51

66

116

29

58

16

2

536

2005

27

28

22

2

48

24

34

84

53

27

0

0

350

2006

0

0

1

4

9

24

90

178

52

70

6

16

450

2007

22

5

33

9

66

30

51

7

58

13

11

13

320

Average

9

8

8

17

19

23

54

67

40

36

6

9

295

Site Corrals/K

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1994

0

0

0

0

0

0

29

51

68

23

18

18

207

1995

7

0

15

0

14

32

51

71

47

0

0

5

241

1996

0

17

1

0

0

79

116

101

50

23

0

0

386

1997

18

17

9

65

36

90

42

89

51

18

4

25

463

1998

0

7

27

12

0

1

87

137

9

86

38

14

417

1999

8

0

24

12

46

41

96

55

52

7

0

0

343

2000

0

0

0

5

0

6

70

26

4

74

0

0

186

2001

0

0

0

3

49

25

39

50

61

9

0

0

236

2002

0

0

0

4

0

17

79

50

109

35

7

50

351

2003

0

3

5

9

0

23

21

49

7

26

16

3

161

2004

19

29

5

119

0

36

58

85

33

51

18

2

452

2005

29

29

19

2

43

9

39

93

90

34

0

0

387

2006

0

0

1

4

9

14

93

205

63

74

6

14

483

2007

13

6

36

7

65

29

27

6

49

15

10

12

274

Average

7

8

10

17

19

29

61

76

49

34

8

10

328

Site J

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1999

0

0

0

0

0

0

103

61

35

11

0

0

210

2000

0

0

0

4

0

7

26

15

7

83

0

0

141

2001

0

0

0

6

35

11

59

77

60

8

0

0

256

2002

0

0

0

3

0

11

101

52

86

38

5

47

343

2003

0

4

0

7

0

46

24

31

7

27

16

2

165

2004

6

26

7

155

0

39

54

66

40

59

21

2

476

2005

29

30

25

8

39

7

23

102

84

40

0

0

387

2006

0

0

2

5

11

19

115

174

90

77

4

14

512

2007

4

5

32

7

99

23

7

0

65

15

11

11

278

Average

4

7

7

22

20

18

57

64

53

40

6

8

308

Site Johnson

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1994

0

0

0

0

0

0

30

67

25

18

14

6

160

1995

2

0

19

0

10

35

40

30

24

0

0

8

168

1996

0

15

1

0

0

76

81

54

98

10

0

0

335

1997

18

10

5

51

12

79

35

130

51

9

0

44

445

1998

0

7

44

21

0

1

67

94

17

52

30

13

346

1999

3

0

20

43

34

74

58

27

34

7

0

0

300

2000

0

0

0

4

0

7

57

14

4

74

0

0

160

2001

0

0

0

9

27

22

39

56

25

9

0

0

188

2002

0

0

0

1

0

11

86

56

74

36

4

43

312

2003

0

0

1

9

0

43

7

80

10

26

16

1

193

2004

10

23

0

87

0

25

49

69

38

90

12

1

404

2005

22

22

13

4

45

5

34

89

97

36

0

0

367

2006

0

0

1

5

11

8

103

157

107

67

3

12

476

2007

1

6

17

3

61

18

0

0

80

22

0

10

218

Average

4

6

9

17

14

29

49

66

49

32

6

10

291

Site Sheep

Year

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual Total

1999

0

0

0

0

0

0

86

55

31

4

0

0

176

2000

0

0

0

5

0

21

107

15

5

76

0

0

228

2001

0

0

0

6

41

21

59

80

53

7

0

0

268

2002

0

0

0

0

0

11

84

38

70

31

10

52

297

2003

0

4

8

11

0

8

28

50

10

26

15

2

162

2004

27

26

7

120

0

43

37

70

30

58

14

2

435

2005

27

21

10

2

61

12

41

87

38

32

0

0

331

2006

0

0

1

3

10

16

80

167

56

69

4

13

418

2007

6

4

27

4

78

36

23

8

64

14

10

11

283

Average

7

6

6

17

21

19

60

63

40

35

6

9

289




Fig. 3: Bar graph showing average annual and growing season (April—October) (bottom bar and dotted line) rainfall recorded at the SH and OW research sites (1990—2007) as compared to 1914—2006 long-term averages.

Figure 3. Average annual and growing season (April–October) (bottom bar and dotted line) rainfall recorded at the SH and OW research sites (1990–2007) as compared to 1914–2006 long-term averages.


New Mexico is influenced by the North American monsoon and gets 40 to 50% of annual rainfall during the monsoon season (late June through early October). One-third of the days during quarter 3 had measurable rainfall events as compared to 15 to 18% of days during the other quarters. There are many dry and sunny days on the Corona Ranch. As shown in Figure 4, on 79% of the days in the year (290 days) it typically does not rain or snow. Dry days occurred only 66% of the time during quarter 3.

On the 75 days a year that it does typically rain, it rains less than 0.25 inch (6.4 mm) 64% of the time. These small rainfall events are most common during quarter 1 and quarter 4 (Figure 4). Rain events over the day exceeded 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) about 20% of the time. When it does rain, it rains over 1 inch about 9% of the time. These large storms rarely occur during the winter period (< 5% of days) (Figure 4).

Fig. 4a: Bar graph showing rainfall frequency by amount category, Sept. 24, 1989 to July 3, 2007, at SH and OW sites.

Figure 4a. Rainfall frequency by amount category, Sept. 24, 1989 to July 3, 2007, at SH and OW sites.

Fig. 4b: Bar graph showing rainfall frequency by amount category, Sept. 24, 1989 to July 3, 2007, at SH and OW sites.

Figure 4b. Rainfall frequency by amount category, Sept. 24, 1989 to July 3, 2007, at SH and OW sites.

Soil Moisture

Soil moisture data are available from the Adams site starting in 1997 and from the OW and SH sites starting in 2001. As noted earlier, data were recorded at two depths at the OW and SH sites (4 inches and from 4 to 12 inches) and at five depths at the Adams site (2, 4, 8, 20, and 40 inches). Soil moisture levels for the Adams site are not detailed in this report but are available at the Corona Ranch web site.

Figures 5 and 6 plot midnight recorded soil moisture at 10 cm (4 inches) at the SH and OW site from 2002 through 2007. Also shown on the graphs are daily rainfall amounts in mm. At the 10 cm (4 inch) depth, the OW data logger consistently recorded about 20% higher than the SH data logger. At the 10–30 cm depth, soil moisture recorded at the SH site was about 6% higher than at the OW site. The Adams site had a consistently lower recording and the range of data was much less. This is likely due to differences in how the probes were calibrated.

The change in daily soil moisture was tied closely to the size of the recorded rainfall event, as would be expected. For those days when valid soil moisture recordings were made, average daily changes in soil moisture increased with the amount of rainfall recorded. It took at least 5 mm (0.2 inches) of rainfall to substantially increase soil moisture levels over the day. When it did not rain on a given day, soil moisture decreased on average by 0.2%. For the dry climate of the Corona Ranch, soil moisture is largely built rainfall events > 5 mm, by which were recorded on about 20 days of the year (Figure 4). The rate of decline in soil moisture was much more rapid during the heat of the summer and when plants were growing. Soil moisture moved from the high levels realized following a large rainfall event to low levels in as little as two weeks from June to September, whereas during the winter months soil moisture without additional rainfall declined at a gradual, slow pace (Figures 5 and 6).

Fig. 5a: Line graph showing soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), SH site, 2002—2003.

Figure 5a. Soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), SH site, 2002–2003.

Fig. 5b: Line graph showing soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), SH site, 2004—2005.

Figure 5b. Soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), SH site, 2004–2005.

Fig. 5c: Line graph showing soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), SH site, 2006—2007.

Figure 5c. Soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), SH site, 2006–2007.

 

Fig. 6a: Line graph showing soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), OW site, 2002—2003.

Figure 6a. Soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), OW site, 2002–2003.

Fig. 6b: Line graph showing soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), OW site, 2004—2005.

Figure 6b. Soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), OW site, 2004–2005.

Fig. 6c: Line graph showing soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), OW site, 2006—2007.

Figure 6c. Soil moisture measured at 10 cm (line) and daily rainfall (bars, in mm), OW site, 2006–2007.

Both soil moisture probe depths placed at the OW and SH sites recorded a similar pattern, but the deeper probe (data not shown) remained at a slightly higher level. Over the 2001–2006 period during quarters 1 and 4, the 10–30 cm probe recorded soil moisture levels that averaged 3.5% more than the 10 cm probe. The difference increased to 7.6% during quarter 2 and 5.6%
during quarter 3.

Air Temperature

Average daily maximum air temperature at the OW and SH study sites was 50°F during December–January and 84°F in July. Average daily minimum air temperature was 25°F during December–January and 57°F in July. The average frost-free period (consecutive days above 32°F) was about 164 days, from April 30 to October 11. The interval between killing frosts (28°F or less) averaged 186 days (Table 7). Average minimum daily temperatures were above freezing from April 1 to October 31 (Figure 7). Perhaps more important for range forage production, an approximate 50°F is considered a minimum temperature for growth of blue grama grass (Stubbendieck & Burzlaff, 1970), the predominant forage species found on the Corona Ranch. As shown in Figure 7, average daily daytime air temperatures begin to exceed 50°F near the first of April and remain above this threshold until late October. This suggests a maximum April through October growing season for warm-season grass growth, similar to the frost-free period (214 days).


Table 7. Frost dates and number of consecutive frost-free days at NMSU's Corona Ranch (1991–2007).

Year Less than or equal to 32° F Less than or equal to 28° F
Last Spring
Frost (date)
First Fall
Frost (date)
Frost-Free
Period (days)
Last Spring
Killing Frost (date)
First Fall
Killing Frost (date)
Killing Frost-free
period (days)
1991 May 5 Oct 28 176 May 1 Oct 29 181
1992 Apr 21 Oct 8 170 Apr 4* Oct 9 188
1993 May 11 Oct 21 163 Apr 21 Oct 29 191

1994

Apr 30 Oct 8 161 Apr 6 Nov 10 218

1995

Apr 27 Sep 22* 148 Apr 27 Oct 6 162

1996

Apr 30 Oct 19 172 Apr 30 Oct 19 172

1997

May 3 Oct 13 163 Apr 14 Oct 13 182

1998

Apr 28 Oct 7 162 Apr 21 Oct 18 180

1999

May 6 Sep 29 146 Apr 17 Sep 29 165

2000

May 14 Sep 26 135 Apr 9 Sep 26* 170

2001

Apr 24 Oct 6 165 Apr 24 Oct 16 175

2002

Apr 27 Oct 13 169 Apr 3* Oct 20 200

2003

May 11 Oct 25 167 May 11** Oct 25 167

2004

May 15** Oct 15 153 Apr 13 Nov 2 203

2005

Apr 13* Oct 31** 201 Apr 11 Nov 13** 216

2006

Apr 25 Oct 19 177 Apr 8 Nov 1 207

2007

May 7 Oct 8 154 Apr 16 Oct 21 188
Average Apr 30 Oct 11 164 Apr 16 Oct 19 186
* Earliest date
** Latest date
Italicized number is shortest or longest frost free period



Fig. 7: Line graph showing daily average minimum and maximum air temperature and average diurnal air temperature recorded at the OW and SH study sites (July 17, 1990—July 3, 2007).

Figure 7. Daily average minimum and maximum air temperature and average diurnal air temperature recorded at the OW and SH study sites (July 17, 1990–July 3, 2007).


Table 8 summarizes the number of accumulated degree days over the growing season for the SH and OW sites. This variable was computed by taking the average daily daytime temperature (6 a.m. to 6 p.m.), subtracting 10°C from it and summing this difference for a defined maximum 214-day growing season (April–October). The average number of degree days over the study period, averaged across both sites, was 2,308 with a standard deviation of 152. The years 2000, 2001, and 2003 had degree day values that were 1 standard deviation or more above the average (Table 8), with rainfall totals that were below average (Table 2). The years 1991, 1993, 1997, and 1999 were exceptionally cool years with relatively low calculated degree days.


Table 8. Degree Days Over the Growing Season at the OW and SH Sites, 1990–2007
.

Year OW   SH Average

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

OW Total

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

SH Total

1990

137

314

445

445

385

313

188

2,226

 

137

314

445

445

385

313

188

2,226

2,226

1991

163

344

398

371

371

238

164

2,049

 

160

344

397

371

395

238

164

2,069

2,059

1992

191

212

398

461

439

363

234

2,298

 

188

204

391

456

438

359

227

2,261

2,280

1993

163

292

450

505

424

366

136

2,336

 

129

254

417

472

390

331

112

2,105

2,220

1994

145

280

535

532

479

356

154

2,481

 

111

250

502

498

450

328

129

2,267

2,374

1995

112

270

415

524

493

322

255

2,392

 

73

231

379

486

449

288

220

2,127

2,259

1996

176

416

436

442

383

265

118

2,237

 

152

416

436

442

383

265

118

2,212

2,225

1997

0

246

391

468

425

347

147

2,023

 

-4

236

378

449

414

339

137

1,949

1,986

1998

62

359

476

472

428

391

151

2,339

 

76

371

484

473

436

402

156

2,398

2,368

1999

84

255

405

446

444

305

199

2,137

 

96

264

411

452

450

314

205

2,191

2,164

2000

182

428

452

490

416

415

90

2,473

 

192

439

453

490

416

418

96

2,503

2,488

2001

186

317

484

528

428

374

224

2,540

 

191

325

490

531

425

377

204

2,543

2,542

2002

223

327

495

452

469

305

98

2,370

 

223

327

495

448

466

302

92

2,352

2,361

2003

166

342

398

559

451

338

223

2,476

 

176

363

414

591

456

353

237

2,590

2,533

2004

91

371

458

471

399

333

139

2,262

 

88

367

451

474

386

318

128

2,213

2,238

2005

156

302

486

541

415

401

151

2,453

 

145

294

474

529

408

388

142

2,380

2,416

2006

137

372

510

517

397

260

149

2,342

 

230

411

507

505

385

252

144

2,433

2,387

2007

118

256

441

462

538

394

250

2,458

 

113

242

427

454

520

375

227

2,359

2,409

Average

139

317

448

482

433

338

170

2,327

 

138

314

442

476

425

331

162

2,288

2,308

S.D.

54

59

43

46

42

50

50

150

 

59

71

43

47

37

51

48

172

152

See text for a description of degree days calculation.


Soil Temperature

The daily average soil temperature recorded at 10 cm (4 inches) and 50 cm (20 inches) at the SH and OW sites is shown in Figure 8. Soil temperatures fluctuated annually and daily with variation in air temperature and solar radiation. At 50 cm (20 inches) the daily range in soil temperature was only about 1°C, as compared to 9°C for the 10-cm (4-inch) probe.

Fig. 8a: Line graph showing daily average minimum and maximum soil temperature (10 cm and 50 cm) measured at the SH and OW sites (July 17, 1990—July 3, 2007).

Figure 8a. Daily average minimum and maximum soil temperature (10 cm and 50 cm) measured at the SH and OW sites (July 17, 1990–July 3, 2007).

Fig. 8b: Line graph showing daily average minimum and maximum soil temperature (10 cm and 50 cm) measured at the SH and OW sites (July 17, 1990—July 3, 2007).

Figure 8b. Daily average minimum and maximum soil temperature (10 cm and 50 cm) measured at the SH and OW sites (July 17, 1990–July 3, 2007).

Relative Humidity

Relative humidity varies widely on the Corona Ranch, ranging from nearly 100% on wet, rainy days to a dry 10% a sunny June day (Figure 9). Daily average on relative humidity was frequently in a narrow range from 12% to 25%. Average relative humidity was 25% with monthly averages ranging from 19% during June to 30% during January. Average relative humidity varied from about 30% in the early morning and evening hours to less than 20% by mid-day.

Fig. 9: Scatter plot and bar graph showing daily average relative humidity (July 17, 1990—Sept. 3, 2007).

Figure 9. Daily average relative humidity (July 17, 1990–Sept. 3, 2007).

Wind Speed and Direction

Figure 10 shows the frequency of different hourly maximum and average daily wind speeds at the SH and OW sites, and the average wind direction (in degrees) over the day. As shown, wind has a southerly component 90% of the time, and it blows nearly every day.

Fig. 10: Two bar graphs and one pie chart showing percentage of hours with different maximum and average wind speeds, and the hourly average wind direction (July 17, 1990—July 3, 2007).


Figure 10. Percentage of hours with different maximum and average wind speeds, and the hourly average wind direction (July 17, 1990–July 3, 2007).


Updated Data Access

The interested reader is referred to the Corona Range and Livestock Research Center web site (http://aces.nmsu.edu/aes/corona) for links to updated weather data for the ranch. These data are stored in two Access databases and numerous spreadsheets. One database is maintained for weather data collected by the South House (SH) and Oil Well (OW) data loggers and recorders. The second database is for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) site (Adams site) (NRCS, 2007).

From the web page link, updated tables and figures presented in this report will be available in spreadsheet form. The spreadsheets are linked to the Access database files, and you may be asked whether you would like to enable or disable automatic refresh as you open the file. You should disable the refresh because the data was
refreshed before it was saved to the server.

References

Campbell Scientific Inc. 1996. CS615 water content reflectometer instruction manual. Campbell Scientific Inc., Logan, UT.

Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). 2007. SCAN Site Information for Adams Ranch in New Mexico. Available at http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ scan/site.pl?sitenum=2015&state=nm. Accessed Sept. 29, 2007.

New Mexico Climate Center (NMCC). 2007. New Mexico Climate Center Retrieval Page. Available at http://weather.nmsu.edu. Accessed Sept. 28, 2007.

New Mexico State University, Corona Livestock Research Center (NMSU-CRLRC). 2007. Corona Range Livestock Research Center web site. Available at http://aces.nmsu.edu/aes/corona/. Accessed Sept. 29, 2007.

Stevens Water Monitoring Systems. 2007. Hydra Probe II. Available at http://www.stevenswater.com/catalog/Hydra-Probe-II-Soil-Moisture-and-Salinity-Sensor-SDI-12-RS485-P333C6.aspx. Accessed Sept. 29, 2007.

Stubbendieck, J. and D. F. Burzlaff. 1970. Effects of temperature and day length on axillary bud and tiller development in blue grama. Journal of Range Management 23:63-66.

Utah Climate Center (UCC). 2007. GIS Climate Search. Available at http://climate.usurf.usu.edu/products/data.php?tab=coop. Accessed August.16, 2007.

United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service (USDA-SCS). 1983. Soil survey of Lincoln County area New Mexico. p. 134.

Western Regional Climate Center (WRCC). 2007. http://www.wrcc.dri.edu. Western Regional Climate Center, Historical Climate Information. Accessed Sept. 28, 2007.


To find more resources for your business, home, or family, visit the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences on the World Wide Web at aces.nmsu.edu.

Contents of publications may be freely reproduced for educational purposes. All other rights reserved. For permission to use publications for other purposes, contact pubs@nmsu.edu or the authors listed on the publication.

New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.

Printed and electronicaly distributed October 2008, Las Cruces, NM.