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Published August 23, 2011
Temperature(data through 8/17/11)
Data Source(s): High Plains Regional Climate Center
Temperatures since the water year began on October 1 are averaging between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the southwest deserts and along the Arizona-California border; 55 to 65 degrees F in southeastern Arizona, along the New Mexico-Mexico border, and in southeastern New Mexico; and 45 to 55 degrees F in central and northwestern New Mexico and across the Colorado Plateau in Arizona (Figure 1a). The highest elevations are seeing temperatures between 35 and 45 degrees F. These temperatures have been 1–2 degrees F warmer than average across parts of Arizona and most of New Mexico (Figure 1b). The highest above-average temperatures have been in Otero County along the New Mexico-Mexico border. The warm conditions are due to a persistent high pressure ridge over the area which suppressed monsoon precipitation.
Temperatures during the past 30 days have been warmer than average across most of Arizona and all of New Mexico (Figures 1c–d). In the southwest Arizona deserts, temperatures increased by about 5 degrees F over the previous month due to increased humidity and warmer nighttime temperatures. New Mexico has experienced the warmest conditions. Temperatures have been progressively warmer to the southeast, which matches the drought pattern in recent weeks—the driest and hottest conditions have been toward southeastern New Mexico.
The water year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year. Water year is more commonly used in association with precipitation; water year temperature can be used to measure the temperatures associated with the hydrological activity during the water year.
Average refers to the arithmetic mean of annual data from 1971–2000. Departure from average temperature is calculated by subtracting current data from the average. The result can be positive or negative.
The continuous color maps (Figures 1a, 1b, 1c) are derived by taking measurements at individual meteorological stations and mathematically interpolating (estimating) values between known data points. The dots in Figure 1d show data values for individual stations. Interpolation procedures can cause aberrant values in data-sparse regions.
These are experimental products from the High Plains Regional Climate Center.
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 Dubious, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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