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Understanding the Monsoon Season in New Mexico: A Guide for Homeowners

Welcome to our latest blog post at Lannen’s Lawn & Sprinkler LLC, where we delve into the dynamic and intriguing Monsoon Season in New Mexico. For homeowners passionate about their landscapes, understanding this season is crucial. So, let’s explore what the monsoon season entails and how it affects your landscaping and irrigation needs.

Informative cover for the New Mexico Monsoon Season guide.

Understanding the Monsoon Season in New Mexico: A Guide for Homeowners

When is the Monsoon Season in New Mexico?

The monsoon season in New Mexico typically spans from June 15 to September 30. This period is characterized by a dramatic shift in weather patterns, bringing increased humidity, thunderstorms, and, importantly, much-needed rainfall to our arid region. Monsoons play a vital role in replenishing our water sources and nurturing the diverse flora of New Mexico.


Weather Patterns During Monsoon Season

During this season, you can expect sudden and intense downpours, often accompanied by lightning and thunder. These showers can cause rapid changes in landscape conditions, from dry to wet in a matter of minutes. While these rains are beneficial, they can also pose challenges for landscaping and irrigation management.

Expert Tips for Monsoon Landscaping

  • Christopher Kibler, Gardens Supervisor at Tohono Chul: Kibler suggests planting Texas ranger, blackfoot daisy, and indigo bush during this season. He emphasizes that the monsoon season is excellent for rejuvenation and advises planting heat-tolerant flowers like zinnias and cosmos.
  • Donna DiFrancesco, Conservation Coordinator: DiFrancesco advises homeowners to collect rainwater for plants, plan for power outages, and prepare plants and trees for strong winds, ensuring landscapes remain resilient during the monsoons.

Irrigation Solutions During Monsoon

With sudden and heavy rainfall, your irrigation needs will change. It’s crucial to adjust your watering schedules to prevent overwatering. Also, consider rainwater harvesting systems, which can be an eco-friendly way to utilize the abundant rainwater.

Bar chart showing the average monthly rainfall in Albuquerque during the monsoon season, with the highest in July and a significant decrease by September

What is the difference between a monsoon and a rainy season?

The terms “monsoon” and “rainy season” are often used interchangeably, but they refer to different meteorological phenomena:

Monsoon:

  • A monsoon is a seasonal wind pattern that results in a marked change in precipitation. It is characterized by a reversal of winds which brings a different weather pattern, typically a wet season following a dry season.
  • The monsoon is driven by temperature differences between land and ocean, which create shifts in atmospheric circulation. This can lead to prolonged periods of heavy rainfall.
  • Monsoons are most commonly associated with the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Africa, and parts of North America, such as the Southwestern United States.
  • Monsoons can bring extreme weather, including heavy rainfall that can last for weeks or months, potentially leading to flooding and other challenges.

Rainy Season:

  • A rainy season is a period of the year in tropical and subtropical regions where rainfall is at its highest. Unlike monsoons, rainy seasons don’t necessarily involve a change in wind direction.

  • The rainy season is typically associated with the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), where trade winds from both hemispheres converge, leading to the development of storms and precipitation.
  • Rainy seasons occur in many regions around the world and are not as intense as monsoons. The precipitation level can vary from light, consistent rain to heavy showers and thunderstorms.
  • The duration and intensity of the rainy season can vary greatly depending on the region’s geographic and climatic conditions.

The monsoon season in New Mexico is a dynamic and crucial period for landscaping and irrigation management. By understanding the weather patterns and adopting expert-recommended practices, homeowners can not only protect but also enhance their landscapes during this season.

Remember, our team at Lannen’s Lawn & Sprinkler LLC is always here to help you with personalized solutions for your landscaping and irrigation needs.

 

While both monsoons and rainy seasons are characterized by increased rainfall, monsoons are specifically associated with a seasonal reversal of wind patterns, while rainy seasons are periods of increased rain that occur in tropical areas due to other climatic factors.

What states get monsoons?

In the United States, the term “monsoon” is most often used to refer to the North American Monsoon, which affects several states in the Southwest. The states that typically experience the North American Monsoon include:

  • Arizona: Especially the southern and central parts of the state.
  • New Mexico: Primarily the western and central regions.
  • Nevada: Mainly the southern areas of the state.

What are some Drought Resistant Plants?

Drought-resistant plants, also known as xerophytic or water-wise plants, are species that have adapted to survive in environments with little water. Here are some drought-resistant plants that are commonly recommended for landscaping, particularly in regions like the Southwestern United States:


Succulents and Cacti: These plants store water in their leaves, stems, or roots. Examples include:

Aloe vera

Agave species

Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea)

Pencil cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli)


Ornamental Grasses: These can provide texture and movement in a garden without requiring much water.

Blue fescue (Festuca glauca)

Buffalo grass (Bouteloua dactyloides)

Maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis)


Perennials: Many flowering perennials are drought-tolerant once established.

Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

Coneflower (Echinacea spp.)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)


Shrubs: These provide structure and can often survive dry conditions.

Texas sage (Leucophyllum frutescens)

Butterfly bush (Buddleja spp.)

Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)


Trees: Some trees are particularly resilient to low-water environments.

Mesquite (Prosopis spp.)

Palo verde (Parkinsonia spp.)

Live oak (Quercus virginiana)


Groundcovers: These low-growing plants cover the ground and reduce water evaporation.

Stonecrop (Sedum spp.)

Ice plant (Delosperma spp.)

Creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum)


Herbs: Many herbs are native to Mediterranean climates and are drought-resistant.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Thyme (Thymus spp.)

Sage (Salvia officinalis)


Interested in more insights? Continue exploring other helpful blog posts on our website for more tips and tricks in landscaping and irrigation.

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