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Published May 26, 2011
Data Source(s): High Plains Regional Climate Center
Temperatures since the water year began on October 1 are averaging between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the southwest deserts and along the Arizona-California border; 50 to 55 degrees F in southeastern Arizona and along the New Mexico-Mexico border; 40 to 50 degrees F in central and northeastern New Mexico; and 30 to 50 degrees F across the Colorado Plateau and the northwestern quarter of New Mexico
(Figure 1a). These temperatures are within 1 degree F of average across the Colorado Plateau and along the Arizona-California border; temperatures in central Arizona and the eastern half of New Mexico generally have been 0–2 degrees F warmer than average. Otero, Eddy, and Roosevelt counties in southeastern New Mexico have been 1–4 degrees F warmer than average, as has Gila County in central Arizona. Temperatures in southwestern New Mexico and central Navajo and Apache counties and northern Mohave County in Arizona have been 0–2 degrees F cooler than average (Figure 1b).
Temperatures during the past 30 days have been slightly cooler than average (0–2 degrees F) across the northern and western counties of both states, and slightly warmer than average in the southern and eastern counties. The coolest areas were across the northern counties (Figures 1c–d). Cooler temperatures are the result of the continuation of the La Niña pattern present this winter that pushed storms north but allowed cold air to spread into the Southwest.Notes:
The water year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year. Water year is more commonly used in association with precipitation; water year temperature can be used to measure the temperatures associated with the hydrological activity during the water year.
Average refers to the arithmetic mean of annual data from 1971–2000. Departure from average temperature is calculated by subtracting current data from the average. The result can be positive or negative.
The continuous color maps (Figures 1a, 1b, 1c) are derived by taking measurements at individual meteorological stations and mathematically interpolating (estimating) values between known data points. The dots in Figure 1d show data values for individual stations. Interpolation procedures can cause aberrant values in data-sparse regions.
These are experimental products from the High Plains Regional Climate Center.
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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