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Published June 26, 2013
Seasonal Drought Outlook(through September 2013)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
This summary is partially excerpted and edited from the June 20 Seasonal Drought Outlook technical discussion produced by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and written by forecaster A. Allgood.
Dry and hot conditions persisted across the southwestern U.S. during the last 30 days, but monsoon moisture, which typically streams into the Southwest in early July, will likely bring much needed rain to the region. Consequently, the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) states drought improvement is likely across Arizona, western New Mexico, southern Utah, and southern Nevada (Figure 12).
There are several indications that the onset of monsoon moisture will be both early and strong. These include the possibility of a north-moving tropical storm in the eastern Pacific Ocean, which would promote the flow of moist air from the Gulf of California into the Southwest. Additionally, the eight- to 14-day medium-range weather forecast suggests a surface low will form from solar heating near the border between California and Arizona and a high pressure system will sit across Colorado and New Mexico. These conditions would also promote the northward flow of moisture into the Southwest. However, forecasting the entire three-month monsoon is difficult. The CPC suggests that chances are equal that the monsoon will be above, below, or near average (see page 13). The CPC assigns a low to moderate confidence in this forecast, in part because the monsoon is difficult to project. Nonetheless, because the monsoon will bring at least some moisture to the region, drought improvement in some regions is likely.
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::
For medium- and short-range forecasts::
For soil moisture tools::
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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