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Published November 16, 2012
Temperature(data through 11/14/12)
Data Source(s): High Plains Regional Climate Center
Temperatures since the water year began on October 1 have averaged between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit on the Colorado Plateau of Arizona and across many parts of New Mexico (Figure 1a). The lowest temperatures have been in the higher elevations of both states, while average temperatures in the deserts generally have been in the 70s. Temperatures across the region during October and early November were much warmer than average (Figure 1b). The average October temperature for Arizona ranked as the 21st warmest on record for that month, out of 118 years, while the average temperature in New Mexico was the 37th warmest. Because temperatures and precipitation are positively correlated, the lack of recent rain has contributed to the warmer-than-average conditions. Only one winter storm has passed through the Southwest since October 1, and it brought below-average temperatures for only a few days. Otherwise, high pressure has dominated the weather pattern of the Southwest.
During the past 30 days, most of Arizona was 1 to 3 degrees F warmer than average, while northwestern New Mexico experienced temperatures within 1 degree of average (Figures 1c–d). Many parts of eastern New Mexico were extremely warm, with temperatures greater than 3 degrees F above average for this time of year. The cold winter storm that moved through Southern California into Arizona in early November exited the state to the northeast, catching the northwest corner of New Mexico but not affecting much of eastern New Mexico.Notes:
The water year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year. As of October 1, 2012, we are in the 2013 Water 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 Dubious, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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