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Southwest Climate Outlook March 2018 - Climate Summary

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Precipitation & Temperature: Precipitation varied considerably across the Southwest in February, but temperatures remained warm throughout the region. Precipitation amounts ranged from below average to much-above average, with the wetter areas concentrated in southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico and the driest areas occurring in the Four Corners region and northeastern New Mexico (Fig. 1a). Temperatures ranged from average to above average in Arizona, and from above average to much-above average in New Mexico (Fig. 1b). (read more)

Feb 2018 Southwest Climate Outlook - La Niña Events in the Southwest

Monday, February 19, 2018

Winter precipitation (Dec-Feb (DJF)), during most weak La Niña events (ENSO Index Value between -0.5 and -1.0) has been below average, although a few years (1968, 1985) were notable outliers (Figs. 5-6). The monthly breakdown of weak, moderate, and strong La Niña events reveals that while the DJF totals for Tucson, AZ and Las Cruces, NM have been mostly below average, there have been individual months that recorded precipitation above the monthly average (represented by black lines on the plots). The most likely outcome for the Southwest this year is below-average precipitation totals for the winter season, but the way that these events unfold will have an impact on how residents perceive and experience this La Niña event (see the following page for examples from Arizona and New Mexico during La Niña events). (read more)

Southwest Climate Outlook February 2018 - Climate Summary

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Precipitation & Temperature: January was warm and dry across the Southwest. Precipitation was average to below average in most of Arizona, and below average to much-below average in New Mexico (Fig. 1a). Temperatures were much-above average to record warmest in Arizona, and ranged from near average to much-above average in New Mexico (Fig. 1b). (read more)

SW Climate Outlook - La Niña Tracker - Jan 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

La Niña conditions have continued for another month at weak-to-moderate strength, with both atmospheric and oceanic conditions, including sea-surface temperatures (SSTs), demonstrating a consistent La Niña pattern (Figs. 1-2). Forecasts continue to suggest that a weak-to-moderate La Niña event will last through the winter before weakening this spring. (read more)

SW Climate Outlook Jan 2018 - Climate Summary

Thursday, January 18, 2018

December Precipitation & Temperature: December precipitation ranged from average to much-below average across most of Arizona and New Mexico, with record-dry conditions along the western edge of Arizona and in pockets of central and eastern New Mexico (Fig. 1a). December temperatures were above average to record warmest in both states (Fig. 1b), continuing the pattern observed during fall 2017. (read more)

SW Climate Outlook - La Niña Winter Precip in the SW

Friday, December 22, 2017

Looking more closely at winter Dec-Feb (DJF) precipitation, most weak La Niña events (ENSO Index Value between -0.5 and -1.0) recorded below-average precipitation, although a few years (1968, 1985) are notable outliers (Figs. 5-6). Looking at the monthly breakdown of weak, moderate, and strong La Niña events reveals that while the DJF totals for Tucson, AZ and Las Cruces, NM are mostly below average (Figs. 7-8), there have been some individual months that recorded precipitation above the monthly average (represented by black lines on the plots). (read more)

SW Climate Outlook - La Niña Tracker - Dec 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

After a relatively late start, La Niña has ramped up over the past 30 days in terms of observed conditions and projected intensity, with sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) demonstrating a more consistent La Niña pattern (Figs. 1-2). Current forecasts and outlooks suggest a weak-to-moderate La Niña event lasting through the winter. (read more)

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