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Published January 23, 2013
Seasonal Drought Outlook(through April 2013)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
Nearly all of Arizona and New Mexico is experiencing moderate drought or a more severe drought category. This picture is unlikely to change in coming months. The Seasonal Drought Outlook, issued by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (NOAA-CPC) on January 17, calls for the persistence of drought across the Southwest through at least April (Figure 11). Isolated areas in northwest Arizona and southeast New Mexico that experienced improvements in drought conditions over the past several months are expected to slide back into more intense drought in coming months. NOAA-CPC notes that they expect a much drier weather pattern than has been observed since mid-December to set up over the next several months across the southern third of the U.S. Several climate models have picked up on this signal, leading to some confidence in this outlook. This is not encouraging news for Arizona and New Mexico because the next three months is when the region experiences the bulk of its winter rain and snow. After late March, the region normally experiences dry conditions, which will create few opportunities, if any, to make up for precipitation deficits incurred during the winter until the monsoon season begin anew.
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.
For 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
- Dan Ferguson, CLIMAS Program Director
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Gigi Owen, CLIMAS Assistant Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Swetish, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
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