Hydroclimatology and Solar Explorations

Climate Forecasts & Predictions

Animas River studies update Summer, 2019

I may be biased, but I think that every hydro inclined person might benefit to “adopt” a river gage somewhere.  Follow it closely, ask questions and learn, along with the rest of us.  I once asked the helpful USGS staff about a seemingly anomalous discharge fluctuation for a drainage of Mt. Whitney.  They responded quickly with a determination that a beaver dam had burst.  Since then I try to never take any gage for granted.

I’ve adopted the Animas River gage near Farmington, NM for the most data centered core of some of my work.  I’ve presented on it numerous times at conferences relating to a past mine spill in the Rockies upstream of there.  At those and in a related paper I presented a multiyear advance forecast of the Animas flows for a 60 month average.   I’ve based that on lagged cross regressions to a western equatorial Pacific enso parameter and to the Sun’s irradiance fluctuations.  I also relied upon published estimates of the residence times of atmospheric moisture through different Hadley circulation limbs.  I’ve also worked to develop mindfulness of the chemical dynamics, including redox fluctuations and mass partitioning via isotopic fractionation.  All of those topics can be addressed to some extent by studying any good stream gage and the associated earth signatures.

It appears by the attached, and that of its close relative, the Otowi gage near Santa Fe, NM along the Rio Grande, that flows have been greater than average lately.  Accordingly, I can now estimate somewhat more quantitatively that my solar based Animas forecast is on track for another accurate year of historical comparison.  I’ll have a full report for that year by January or so of next year after all of 2019 data have arrived.


The Otowi gage pictured above from the USGS site experienced significant moisture increases over recent months.

I’ve also learned from the NM Water Resources Research Institute (WRRI), that they will include a summary paper about my Animas presentations, including the past prediction, in a new Proceedings volume.  I will update with a link when it is available.

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