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Monsoon Summary (June 15 – Sep 18)

Friday, September 19, 2014

We are nearing the end of the 2014 season, and while it is difficult to characterize the highly variable day-to-day storms of any monsoon as “normal,” we have had a fairly typical if not above-average monsoon season in terms of precipitation. Regional assessment is complicated by the effects of a few extreme events that amplified precipitation amounts in parts of Arizona and New Mexico and caused an entire month’s or year’s worth of precipitation to fall in a single storm. (read more)

This post was originally published as part of the September 2014 Southwest Climate Outlook

El Niño Tracker - Sept 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The song remains the same this month with El Niño not quite here yet, but probably soon. This is now the seventh consecutive month since the NOAA Climate Prediction Center issued an “El Niño Watch” last March. The signs are a bit stronger once again, but it is getting late in the game...(read more)

This post was originally published as part of the September 2014 Southwest Climate Outlook

Southwest Climate Podcast: Monsoon Frequency vs. Intensity, & El Niño Still Dragging its Heels

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In the August Southwest Climate Podcast, Zack Guido and Mike Crimmins talk about variability and timing of monsoon precipitation, and why frequent and sustained moisture might matter more than heavy infrequent rains (for drought, especially).  El Niño is still dragging its heels, but it still looks good for a weak to moderate event this winter. (read more)

 

El Niño Watch - Aug 21, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An “El Niño Watch” continues this month as issued by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center several months ago. The watch is just that: we are waiting and watching for the development of a full-fledged El Niño event that has yet to materialize across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Several indicators of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) status declined, moving back towards ENSO-neutral values over the past month instead of leaning towards an El Niño event as they had been.  These shifts included slight cooling in the eastern Pacific Ocean and near-average wind patterns along the equator. But for those cheering on the development of an El Niño event, not all hope is lost (read more).

This post was originally published as part of the August 2014 Southwest Climate Outlook

Monsoon Summary (June 15 - Aug 19)

Friday, August 22, 2014

The 2014 monsoon can be characterized many ways—the amount and intensity of rain has been spotty both spatially and temporally, the humidity has been persistently high, and precipitation has improved short-term drought conditions in many areas. Certainly it cannot be characterized as a dud. (read more)

This post was originally published as part of the August 2014 Southwest Climate Outlook

Notes from an Applied Climatologist: Q & A on El Niño, Predictions, and Indices

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What is the exact criteria to call something El Niño?  Is El Niño a continuum or is there a binary switch where it's either an El Niño event or not?

How closely linked is the strength of El Niño with observable effects in the Southwest?  Would a weak El Niño look that different from no El Niño at all?  (read more)

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