Meteorology (Weather)/North Central New Mexico Weather Anual Patterm
I live up an Arroyo just east of Espanola NM. Every year we have thunder storms in the area from July to late September. Usually the biggest flood which wipes out my driveway comes in Late September just when my hay delivery is due. It costs me $100 or more to have my driveway regraded to make it passable for a hay truck. I know that if I fix the road too early it may flood again and cost me another hundred bucks. Now I have lived here for 40 years and I know the annual pattern for our local weather. And I know that the folks who plan the Albuquerque Balloon Festival for early October know the pattern too. When the fall weather shifts to "Indian summer" the thunder storms generally are over and the weather feels entirely different.
I would like to know what the general dynamics are that drive this pattern. Local weather reports seldom tell the whole story. If there is a macro event which causes this change to fall weather I would like to know what it is and where to look for it in the weather service reports.
In the past I have just waited it out until it was obvious the pattern had changed then fixed the road and ordered the Hay delivery. But this year I have two tenants living on the property with me and they are bugging me to fix the driveway. So that explains to you why I have written this long winded question.
I thank you for making yourself available to answer questions for people distressed by the weather; I am sure that many of my neighbors will also appreciate your taking time to give us this answer.
I also am a sailor, and enjoy sailing on Abiquiu Lake nearby, so I would like to know the dynamics which drive the Spring winds that bedevil local residents from March to late May.
Hi Creighton, Think of the jet stream as a dividing line between cold and warm air. As the cold air begins to move south, the jet stream begins to move south as well and you'll be able to see it "kink"; we can see this on upper air maps and water vapor imagery. As the jet stream kinks, the air flowing into the base of the trough that forms has to accelerate to get around the kink. This acceleration causes the air to rise and thunderstorms can (but may not always) develop thunderstorms. You can also get storms to form on the leeward side of a mountain if there is sufficient upslope flow and moisture on the windward side of the mountain.
As for your second question, without knowing the geography, I couldn't tell you for sure what's going on.