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November 2013 Southwest Climate Outlook
Published November 21, 2013
Drought: Drought conditions remained virtually unchanged in the last 30 days in both Arizona and New Mexico. Currently, moderate or more severe drought covers about 68 and 79 percent of Arizona and New Mexico, respectively.
Precipitation: Precipitation across Arizona was below average in the last 30 days, with deficits of around 0.5 inches in many locations. Precipitation during this time of year, however, often is scant. One storm clipped northern regions of New Mexico, but rainfall in the state was otherwise below average.
Temperature: The last 30 days in Arizona were warmer than average, particularly in the southeast, where both minimum and maximum temperatures were around 4 degrees F above average. Temperatures in most of New Mexico were 0–2 degrees F above average.
Snowpack: Early winter precipitation in the Upper Colorado River and Rio Grande basins has resulted in above-average snowpacks for this time of year. A large snowpack this winter is needed to improve low storage in these basins, particularly in the Rio Grande.
Water Supply: Reservoir storage in Arizona slightly increased in October; storage in Lakes Mead and Powell remain at about 46 percent. In New Mexico, storage did not substantially change in October; reservoir storage for the state stands at about 21 percent of capacity.
ENSO: Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the tropical Pacific Ocean are near average, or ENSO-neutral. The majority of models forecast the persistence of ENSO-neutral conditions through the winter.
Precipitation Forecasts: The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center is calling for elevated chances for below-average precipitation through the winter, noting a general consensus from both dynamical and statistical models for this outlook. ENSO-neutral conditions, however, makes precipitation outlooks less certain.
Temperature Forecasts: The NOAA-Climate Prediction Center forecasts above-average temperatures for all three-month seasons, including the December–February period, between December and May. These forecasts are based in part on seasonal warming trends.
On the horizon: A large storm tapping subtropical moisture is expected to douse the Southwest in rain and snow in coming days. Snow likely will fall at high elevations, and this one event may ease precipitation deficits that have mounted since the end of the monsoon.
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.
The CLIMAS Web site contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials.... Read full disclaimer