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Published September 23, 2010
Data Source(s): High Plains Regional Climate Center
Temperatures since the water year began on October 1 on the Colorado Plateau in northeastern Arizona and in the northern third of New Mexico remain between 40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit (Figure 1a). Central and eastern New Mexico have had average temperatures ranging between 50 and 60 degrees F, while the southern border of New Mexico and Arizona have been between 60 and 65 degrees F. The lower elevation deserts in southwestern and western Arizona have been warmer, with average temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F. For most areas in northern and central Arizona and most of New Mexico, temperatures have been 0–2 degrees cooler than average (Figure 1b). The cooler temperatures are due to the El Niño circulation during the winter. There have been a few regions with warmer-than-average temperatures, including southeastern Arizona and northeastern New Mexico.
During the past 30 days, temperatures across most of Arizona have been 0–2 degrees F warmer than average, with east-central and southeastern Arizona averaging 2–4 degrees F above average (Figure 1c–d). While western New Mexico has been 0–2 degrees F warmer than average, the higher elevations have been 0–2 degrees cooler than average. Eastern New Mexico has been 2–4 degrees warmer than average, while the far northeastern corner of New Mexico has been 4–8 degrees warmer than average. Less frequent monsoon storms likely contributed to the increased temperatures during the past 30 days.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
- 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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