New Mexico marks year of weather extremes

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Dec. 27 2013 6:47 a.m. MST

In this Sept. 13, 2013 file photo, La Union resident George Enriquez, left, and Pablo Romero of Las Cruces, N.M. survey the damage along Sentenario Street in La Union, N.M. where Thursday's massive flooding destroyed multiple roads in the small town, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013. Previously drought-stricken rivers surged their banks across New Mexico on Friday, closing roads, stranding children at schools and forcing evacuation from Las Vegas to Truth or Consequences from "life-threatening" floods.

The Las Cruces Sun-News, Shari Vialpando-Hill, Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It seemed there was no end in sight after three years without any meaningful snow or summer rain. In 2013, New Mexico's drought became what climate experts and water managers were calling unprecedented.

A summer heat wave made things worse as the state's reservoirs were reduced to mucky messes, and stretches of the Rio Grande and Pecos rivers went dry.

But summing up New Mexico's weather this year isn't that simple.

There was record rainfall, flash flooding, historic wind gusts and a severe hail storm that put snow plows to work during the first week of July.

Deirdre Kann with the National Weather Service in Albuquerque says New Mexico is finishing the year with near normal temperatures and precipitation, but the fluctuations during the year were anything but near normal.

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