Entire Rio Grande Basin Remains Focus For Potential Flooding

Courtesy/NWS

NWS News:

National Weather Service: The Rio Grande basin, from northern New Mexico to Brownsville remains the focus of concern for potential flooding this week due to three distinct events ongoing in the region:

  • The ongoing rainfall over New Mexico;
  • Heavy rainfall leading to reservoir releases in the Rio Conchos basin in northern Mexico; and
  • Potential impacts from Hurricane Ingrid in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.
  • In New Mexico, widespread heavy rainfall has ended. However, saturated soils across the region means that only light to moderate amounts of rainfall will produce additional rises in area rivers. Both the Rio Grande and the Pecos River continue to see higher flows with localized minor flooding currently occurring.

Impacts for New Mexico:

– Up to an additional 1″ of rain in the next 24 hours in localized areas, primarily in the central mountain chains

– Flash flooding threat continues, especially over burn scars and in urban areas

– Fast river rises and minor flooding possible, especially in tributary creeks and rivers in the central mountain chains 

– Higher flows continuing on the mainstem Rio Grande and Pecos River with localized minor flooding possible

– Continued beneficial increases in storage at water supply reservoirs

  • Heavy rainfall has been occurring for the past several days over the Rio Conchos basin in the State of Chihuahua in northern Mexico. As a result, some of the reservoirs in the basin have filled into their flood pools and the government of Mexico has begun making releases. Releases have generated a rise to near Action Stage on the Rio Grande in Presidio. These releases are expected to continue through the week.  

Impacts for West Texas and the Big Bend:  

– No significant river flooding expected at this time

– Higher flows on the Rio Grande from Presidio to Lake Amistad

– Likely increase in pool elevation at Amistad, which is currently at 35% of conservation

– Forecast rainfall amounts of up to 1″ later this week may cause some additional rises

  • Hurricane Ingrid made landfall early this morning near La Pesca, Mexico, and has already weakened to a Tropical Storm. Outer bands from Ingrid are bringing scattered areas of rain to southern Texas, with amounts in the last 24 hours generally 1″ or less.  Although Ingrid is forecast to dissipate quickly over central Mexico, moisture from this system will bring locally heavy rain to Deep South Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley for the next few days. Heavy rain over the Rio Grande tributaries in northeast Mexico may also impact the region this week.

Impacts for Deep South Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley:

– Rainfall amounts of 3-6″ with higher amounts possible in mountainous areas of northeast Mexico

– Localized flash flooding and ponding of water in the Lower Rio Grande Valley

– Higher flows on the Rio Grande and tributaries in northeast Mexico and potential increase in elevation at Falcon Reservoir

– Significant flooding not expected on the lower Rio Grande at this time

– Reservoirs on Mexican side (El Cuchillo, Marte Gomez, Las Blancas, V. Carranza) are around 25% of conservation 

– Falcon Reservoir on the Rio Grande is around 18%

– Reservoir levels are currently lower than prior to Hurricane Alex in 2010

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