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Published February 23, 2011
Data Source(s): High Plains Regional Climate Center
The 2011 water year, which began on October 1, continues to be extremely dry in the Southwest. Only a few winter storms have swept through the Southwest, and their trajectories have been northeast, moving across Southern California and only clipping the northwest corner of Arizona. Extremely dry conditions have dominated in southern Arizona and New Mexico, while northwest Arizona and parts of northern New Mexico have experienced above-average rain and snow (Figures 2a–b). Southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico have received less than 25 percent of average precipitation since October 1.
In the last 30 days, the western half of Arizona and a large area of northern New Mexico received less than 2 percent of average precipitation (Figures 2c–d). Eastern Arizona and western New Mexico received 5–75 percent of average precipitation. Only the Four Corners region in Arizona experienced above-average precipitation, with one station measuring up to 1,000 percent of average (Figure 2d). Southeastern New Mexico received 25–75 percent of average precipitation, while the northeast corner of New Mexico has been much wetter with 75–400 percent of average precipitation in the last month.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.
The CLIMAS Web site contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials.... Read full disclaimer