White Christmas unlikely for San Juan County

The Daily Times staff
A robin perches in a bush Monday next to the confluence of the Animas and San Juan rivers in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Northwest New Mexico residents who are dreaming of a white Christmas might be out of luck this year, but bird watchers are in for some winter treats. Song birds, flickers and ducks have gathered near the confluence of the San Juan and Animas rivers in Farmington.

According to an updated map released Monday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate center, San Juan County has between three and 11 percent chance of at least an inch of snow on Christmas.

The map uses data from 1981 through 2010 to gauge the probability of a white Christmas.

Aztec Ruins National Monument has the highest probability with 11 percent and Fruitland has the lowest probability with 3 percent.

The map can be viewed at climate.gov/news-features.

A robin hops Monday next to the Among the Waters trail in Farmington.

Avian events planned

On the positive side, the weather is perfect for hiking and bird watching, and the local nature center has some events lined up.

Education specialist Donna Thatcher leads the Tuesday Birding session at 9 a.m. each Tuesday at the Riverside Nature Center in Animas Park off Browning Parkway in Farmington. The event features a 1- to 2-mile walk through Animas and Berg parks.

For a more indoors experience, bird watchers can bring their lunches to the Riverside Nature Center observation room Wednesdays at noon for Brown Bag Birding, a weekly event where staff and volunteers watch wildlife as they eat.

The center also plans a Moonlight Walk on Dec. 22 starting at 7 p.m.

 Participation in all of those events is free. Call 505-599-1422 for more information or to confirm times and dates or go to http://fmtn.org/252/Riverside-Nature-Center.

A robin flies Monday near the Among the Waters Trail in Farmington.
A chickadee sits on a branch Monday next to the Among the Waters Trail in Farmington.