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Published July 25, 2011
Precipitation(data through 7/20/11)
Data Source(s): High Plains Regional Climate Center
Precipitation since the water year began on October 1 has shown a decreasing pattern from northwest to southeast that falls from more than 150 percent of average to less than 5 percent of average (Figures 2a-b). In Arizona, much of the Colorado Plateau and central counties have received 50–100 percent of average precipitation, while most of the southeast counties have received between 25 and 50 percent of average. In New Mexico, most of the northwestern counties have seen 70–100 percent of average, while much of the northeastern and central counties have received 25–70 percent of average. The southern half of New Mexico has been the driest, receiving only 5–25 percent of average.
In the last 30 days, the monsoon has not made up for the dry conditions brought on by the winter La Niña event. Monsoon moisture has brought only minor relief to southern and northern Arizona and no relief for most of New Mexico. Only southwestern, northeastern, and central Arizona and Otero County in southern New Mexico have received more 100 percent of average rainfall (Figures 2c-d). The monsoon has been relatively dry so far, and most of the activity has been in Arizona, especially at the higher elevations.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 Dubious, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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