To make decisions about drought declarations, status, and relief funds, decision makers need high quality local-level drought impact data. In response to this need in Arizona, the Arizona DroughtWatch program was created, which includes an online drought impacts reporting system. Despite extensive and intensive collaboration and consultation with the intended public participants, Arizona DroughtWatch has had few consistent users and has failed to live up to its goal of providing decision makers or the public with high quality drought impacts data. (read more)
In this edition of the Southwest Climate Podcast, Zack Guido discusses a 470-year tree-ring reconstruction of the Southwest Monsoon with Dan Griffin, PhD candidate in the UofA Geography department and author of the recently published record.
Dust storms create both health issues and transportation hazards. Valley Fever is endemic to the border region and gets carried with the dust. Interstates and local highways are often closed for hours in an attempt to avoid accidents and injuries. Windblown dust concentrations can be very high when strong winds occur during extended droughts - creating “exceptional episodes” of poor air quality. Air quality in rural areas of New Mexico and along the US/Mexico border is normally acceptable and well below the US EPA’s air quality standards for particulate matter. But these episodes expose millions of people to particulate levels that exceed air quality standards. (read more)
In this month's Southwest Climate Podcast, Zack Guido, Mike Crimmins, and Gregg Garfin discuss how this winter has influenced the status of drought, the snowpack situation, and streamflow forecasts across both Arizona and New Mexico.