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Published August 23, 2011
Precipitation(data through 8/17/11)
Data Source(s): High Plains Regional Climate Center
Precipitation since the water year began on October 1 generally has ranged from 130 percent of average in the northwest corner of Arizona to less than 25 percent of average in the southeastern corner of New Mexico (Figures 2a–b). The wet-to-dry gradient continues to run diagonally across both states. The Colorado Plateau and central counties of Arizona, as well as the northwest and northern borders of New Mexico, have received between 50 to 90 percent of average precipitation. The southern Arizona counties and the southeastern two-thirds of New Mexico have received 25–50 percent of average. Eddy, Chaves, and Lea counties in southeastern New Mexico have received even less.
In the last 30 days, monsoon storms have delivered copious rains to parts of southeastern Arizona including Graham, Greenlee, and western Cochise counties, as well as to central Coconino County in northern Arizona and southern Hidalgo and Luna counties in southwest New Mexico (Figures 2c–d). However, most of the Southwest has received less than 70 percent of average rainfall in the last month, most notably western Arizona and eastern New Mexico, which have received less than 50 percent of their average.Notes:
The water year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year. As of October 1, 2010, we are in the 2011 water year. The water year is a more hydrologically sound measure of climate and hydrological activity than is the standard calendar year.
Average refers to the arithmetic mean of annual data from 1971–2000. Percent of average precipitation is calculated by taking the ratio of current to average precipitation and multiplying by 100.
The continuous color maps (Figures 2a, 2c) are derived by taking measurements at individual meteorological stations and mathematically interpolating (estimating) values between known data points. Interpolation procedures can cause aberrant values in data-sparse regions.
The dots in Figures 2b and 2d show data values for individual meteorological stations.
For these and other precipitation maps, visit:
For National Climatic Data Center monthly precipitation and drought reports for Arizona, New Mexico, and the Southwest region, visit :
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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