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Published August 22, 2012
Seasonal Drought Outlook(through November)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
This summary is partially excerpted and edited from the August 16 Seasonal Drought Outlook technical discussion produced by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and written by forecaster R. Tinker.
Improvement in drought conditions is forecasted for much of Arizona and adjacent portions of Southern California, southeastern Utah, southwestern Colorado, and western New Mexico through November (Figure 12). A fairly narrow area of some improvement also surrounds this area. However, drought is expected to persist farther north and west, as well as in central New Mexico. Contributing to this forecast is the expectation for elevated chances of above-average precipitation in the Southwest and historically wet upcoming months in southwestern Colorado and nearby areas.
Elsewhere in the West, the remainder of August is forecasted to be dry. The three-month outlook favors below-average precipitation in central California, northwestern Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho. In addition, the water contained in mountain snowpack is a critical indicator of drought. Since precipitation during the September–November period has little impact on snow water content, drought does not tend to change during this time of year.
The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (NOAA-CPC) assigns a moderate confidence in the forecast for drought improvement across southwestern Colorado and adjacent areas in Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. The CPC assigns a high confidence in the drought forecast for areas outside this region.
The delineated areas in the Seasonal Drought Outlook are defined subjectively and are based on expert assessment of numerous indicators, including the official precipitation outlooks, various medium- and short-range forecasts , models such as the 6-10 day and 8-14 day forecasts, soil moisture tools, and climatology.
Fore more information, visit:
For medium- and short-range forecasts, visit:
For soil moisture tools, 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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