Farmers optimistic for more winter snowpack
Posted at: 09/26/2013 6:47 PM
By: Jorge Torres, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Heavy rain and flash flooding marked the summer of 2013, and looking ahead to winter, farmers are hoping this year's snowmelt will be better than previous winters.
"It's been tough. The ditches have been shut down earlier and earlier. This year they shut down in early July, so it's been very challenging for us," said Monte Skarsgard of Skarsgard Farms.
His farm in the South Valley is dependent on deep wells and irrigation ditches which are next to the Rio Grande.
So will this year's monsoon mean more snow this winter?
We looked at the five wettest monsoons in New Mexico history (not including this year), and looked at what happened the preceding winter.
Dr. Dave DuBois, the New Mexico State Climatologist who compiled that information, said a heavy monsoon can't tell us for sure if we'll see more snow this winter, but did say that if history repeats itself, this winter could be average at worst.
An average winter snow-pack for New Mexico and Colorado would be better than the past three winters, which is good news for farmers like Monte.
"A big snowmelt would be great for us. We could get stuff planted that we haven't been able to the last couple of years," said Skarsgard.