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Published June 27, 2012
Seasonal Drought Outlook(through September)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
This summary is partially excerpted and edited from the June 21 Seasonal Drought Outlook technical discussion produced by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and written by forecaster A. Artusa.
Drought conditions are expected to improve in southern parts of Arizona and New Mexico that historically are most heavily impacted by the monsoon; drought is expected to persist or intensify in other regions (Figure 12). Dry conditions across much of the Four Corners states in the last 30 days has caused precipitation deficits of 1 to 2 inches, most notably in central and southeastern New Mexico, Colorado, and central Utah. In the past month, rainfall surpluses of 1 to 3 inches accumulated over northeast parts of New Mexico. The typical onset for the monsoon in the U.S. Southwest is early July, with peak rainfall often occurring during August. Once the monsoon becomes established, thunderstorms have the potential to bring local drought relief, but as is often the case, there is considerable uncertainty in the monsoon’s intensity and extent. The CPC has a low confidence for the drought forecast.
Elsewhere in the West, drought is likely to intensify or persist in most of California and Nevada. While the monsoon can bring moisture throughout the Four Corners states, the summer is climatologically dry across the Great Basin, California, and the Northwest. The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center’s (CPC) monthly and seasonal climate outlooks favor increased chances for below-median precipitation over the Northwest. In a large majority of the West, precipitation forecast accuracy has been minimal, and therefore seasonal climate outlooks do not indicate if precipitation will be above or below average. The temperature forecasts, however, do favor hotter-than-average conditions in nearly the entire West, which can increase atmospheric demand for moisture and, where moisture is not present, intensify dry conditions. The CPC has high confidence in this forecast.
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
- 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.
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