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Published September 26, 2012
Seasonal Drought Outlook(through December)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
This summary is partially excerpted and edited from the September 20 Seasonal Drought Outlook technical discussion produced by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and written by forecaster B. Pugh.
As the monsoon nears its end, drought conditions are expected to persist in the southwest (Figure 11). Although localized improvement is possible with rainfall during late September and the beginning of October, widespread improvement is not expected. Drought persistence is also forecast for the central Rocky Mountains, where most forecast decision support indicators—such as temperature and precipitation outlooks for the October–December period and El Niño precipitation anomalies—suggest low precipitation. Despite these indicators, the NOAA-CPC assigns a low confidence in the forecasts for both the Southwest and the central Rockies.
Elsewhere in the West, forecast confidence is higher. Dry weather accompanied by unseasonably warm temperatures during the first half of September affected the Pacific Northwest. For upcoming weeks and months, decision support tools indicate increased chances for below-median precipitation. This includes composites from El Niño events; an El Niño is expected to develop in the next few months. As a result, the persistence of current drought and the possibility for the development of drought is forecast for the Pacific Northwest and northern California, and the NOAA-CPC assigns a high confidence in this forecast.
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.
Fore more information, visit:
For medium- and short-range forecasts, visit:
For soil moisture tools, visit:
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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