The University of Arizona



Beginning to Understand Climate Change in the Kaipara Catchment

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I’ve tagged along on environmental monitoring patrols, ridden in logging trucks with forestry workers, played cow wrangler on a dairy farm, photographed coastal erosion from the back of a four wheel drive that smelled of turkeys, and attended a conference on the wellbeing of eels. I’ve had conversations on boats and beaches, in fields and farmhouses, by lakes, in rivers, cars and marae (meeting houses). This is what happens when an anthropologist is on the case. (read more)

Climate and Water Resources of the Chuska Mountains

Monday, September 11, 2017

In the fall of 2015, I began working with the Navajo Nation Department of Water Resources, Water Management Branch, to address water resource management questions they had for the Chuska Mountains. These mountains are the only native headwaters on the Navajo Nation, where water scarcity impacts Navajo tradition, culture and livelihood. Since our initial discussions, Water Management Branch staff and I have collaboratively developed guiding research questions about past changes in water and climate. (read more)


Rainlog Climate Summary – August 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

After an exceptionally wet July for many areas across Arizona, monsoon storm activity slowed down to a crawl leading to unusually dry conditions over the past month. August is typically the wettest month during the summer monsoon season in Arizona and the lack of thunderstorm activity stands out against the frequent and heavy activity that characterized much of the month of July. (read more)

SW Climate Outlook - Monsoon Case Study - Pima ALERT Network

Monday, August 21, 2017

Comparison of the current totals at regional weather stations to normal precipitation-to-date and average seasonal totals gives a better sense of how locations across the region are faring in the monsoon (Fig. 1). Most of the stations in Fig. 1 recorded average to above-average precipitation to date, and a few (El Paso and Tucson) exceeded the monsoon seasonal average (June 15 – Sept 30). 

Looking at the Pima County ALERT network sensors (Fig. 3) reveals just how variable the monsoon can be within a region, as well as the fact that daily & cumulative single-station values may not reflect the range of precipitation values observed in the monsoon. read more

SW Climate Outlook August 2017 - Climate Summary

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Precipitation and Temperature: July precipitation ranged from below average in the southwest corner of Arizona to average to much-above average across the rest of the state (Fig. 1a). Central New Mexico recorded mostly below-average precipitation in July, while the northern and southwestern portions of the state recorded average to much-above average precipitation (Fig. 1a). July temperatures were average to much-above average in Arizona and New Mexico (Fig. 1b), although regular monsoon events helped tamp down daily average temperatures in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. read more

SW Climate Outlook - Monsoon Case Study - Tucson July 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The onset of monsoon activity seemed to arrive late in Tucson this year, although residents have been rewarded for their patience by a surge of almost daily storms in the region since July 10. Coincidentally, July 10 was also the third straight day of average daily dewpoint temperatures at or above 54 degrees, thereby meeting the monsoon threshold used by NWS Tucson prior to 2008. The average start date by the former definition is around July 3, although in 2015 and 2016 Tucson met this threshold on June 25. By the dewpoint criteria—and given the absence of any measurable precipitation in Tucson in June and early July, the monsoon did start late, but as was discussed in the most recent episode of the CLIMAS Southwest Climate Podcast, the relatively short length of the monsoon and the desire for relief from the extreme heat of June means any delay to the onset feels like an eternity, even if the first big storm day is only a few days or a week after we might normally expect it. (read more)

SW Climate Outlook - Monsoon Tracker - July 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

The official start date of the monsoon (June 15) was overshadowed by a Southwest-wide extreme heatwave that set numerous records. Heatwaves in June are a typical feature of the seasonal climate, especially as the subtropical ridge builds north, but these record temperatures also increased the anticipation for the relief that the monsoon can provide. Much of southern and central Arizona have recorded pockets of above-average precipitation, while New Mexico has seen more widely distributed precipitation since June 15 (Fig. 1a-b). (read more)


Subscribe to RSS - blogs