The University of Arizona



Southwest Climate Outlook - El Niño Tracker - April 2019

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

El Niño Tracker: Seasonal outlooks and forecasts emphasize clear atmospheric and oceanic conditions that are consistent with a weak El Niño event, and the discussion has shifted to how long the event will last. On Apr. 10, the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) highlighted that El Niño conditions had persisted in March, and with an 80-percent chance of these conditions lasting until summer. On Apr. 11, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) maintained their El Niño advisory, identifying both oceanic and atmospheric conditions consistent with a weak El Niño event. (read more)


Southwest Climate Outlook April 2019 - Climate Summary

Thursday, April 25, 2019

March Precipitation and Temperature: March precipitation was average to above-average across most of Arizona, New Mexico and west Texas, while the upper basin of the Colorado River was much above-average (Fig. 1a). March temperatures were average to above-average in Arizona and New Mexico, despite most of the United States being average to below-average (Fig. 1b).read more




Southwest Climate Outlook - El Niño Tracker - March 2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

El Niño Tracker: Seasonal outlooks have mostly converged on forecasts that emphasize atmospheric and oceanic conditions consistent with a weak El Niño event. This is expected to last through spring, with a chance for a longer event if these conditions persist through summer and into fall. On Mar. 11, the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) maintained their assertion of the presence of El Niño conditions in the equatorial Pacific and called for a 70-percent chance of these conditions lasting until summer 2019. On Mar. 14, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center (CPC) maintained their El Niño advisory, given the convergence of oceanic and atmospheric conditions, as well as warm subsurface waters on the way, and their outlook jumped to an 80-percent chance of an El Niño lasting through spring (and 60-percent through summer). On Mar. 19, the International Research Institute (IRI) issued an ENSO Quick Look (Fig. 1). (read more)



Southwest Climate Outlook March 2019 - Climate Summary

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

February Precipitation and Temperature: February precipitation was above-average across most of Arizona and northwestern New Mexico (and much of the western United States), but quickly transitioned to below-average in southern and eastern New Mexico, a pattern that extended into western Texas (Fig. 1a). February temperatures were below-average in most of Arizona and northwestern New Mexico, and average to above-average in central and eastern New Mexico (Fig. 1b). (read more)

Southern Climate Outlook - El Niño Tracker - February 2019

Sunday, February 17, 2019

After months of El Nino on the horizon (but each month not appearing to get any closer), forecasters have identi ed the convergence of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that indicate the presence of a weak El Nino event. This is expected to last through spring, although there is not complete agreement across the international agencies. On Feb. 12, the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) maintained their assertion of the presence of El Niño conditions in the equatorial Paci c and called for a 70-percent chance of these conditions lasting until summer 2019(read more)

Southwest Climate Outlook February 2019 - Climate Summary

Thursday, June 6, 2019

January Precipitation and Temperature: January was wetter-than-normal across much of northern Arizona and New Mexico, near-normal in southern Arizona, and below-normal across most of southern New Mexico (Fig. 1). January temperatures were normal to above-normal (Fig. 2). Winter storms brought wet and cool conditions to the region in February – including some heavy snow forecast later in the week of Feb 18. These storms feel like a departure, but may simply be closer to normal winter conditions in the Southwest, with expectations having shifted after persistent warm and dry winter conditions over the past few years or decades. (read more)


Southwest Climate Outlook - El Niño Tracker - January 2019

Friday, January 18, 2019

Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are still above average across the equatorial Pacific (Fig. 1), but they have fallen since last month (Fig. 2). Atmospheric conditions still have not coupled with oceanic conditions, and the Madden Julian Oscillation (MJO) is being discussed as one source of this delayed interaction. Forecasters continue to expect an El Niño to form, provided atmospheric conditions catch up with oceanic conditions and that SSTs remain above normal, but the window for relevance of such an event to the Southwest (i.e. the effect on cool-season precipitation) is closing. (read more)

Southwest Climate Outlook January 2019 - Climate Summary

Thursday, January 17, 2019

December Precipitation and Temperature: December precipitation was variable across the Southwest, although temperatures were more consistently average to above average. Precipitation in Arizona was mostly below average to average with small areas of above average in the southeastern and northeastern corners of the state (Fig. 1). In New Mexico, precipitation was average to above average across most of the state (Fig. 1). Temperatures ranged from normal to above normal across Arizona and New Mexico. (read more)

Understanding Farmers’ Choices, Trade-Offs, and Barriers for Selecting Land Management Practices in Northern Ghana

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

In June and July of 2018, I conducted field work in the Bawku East and Nabdam Districts located in the Upper East region of northern Ghana. This is a semi-arid region that has been historically one of the least developed areas in the country. This regional inequality is in part related to the country’s colonial past, a growing population, low soil fertility, increasing environmental degradation, period droughts, and erratic rainfall.

My research focuses on understanding the socio-economic and ecological drivers of land degradation in this region of Ghana as well as understanding the barriers that prevent farmers from adopting sustainable land management practices (SLM) to combat land degradation. SLM practices are one of the best ways to combat and reverse land degradation and enable farmers to maximize the economic and social benefits from the land while maintaining and enhancing the ecological functions of the land. These practices include soil fertility and crop management, soil erosion control measures, water harvesting, forest management etc. (read more)

Beyond the Ranchers-Versus-City Narrative of the Owens Valley Water Conflict

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The conflict over the City of Los Angeles’ extraction and export of water from California’s Owens Valley has long captivated the public and policymakers alike. However, narratives about the Owens Valley water conflict, chronicled in Mark Reisner’s Cadillac Desert and sensationalized in the movie Chinatown, have often fixated on the demise of the agricultural economy at the hands of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in the early 20th century. Though often described as an act of theft and lawlessness, Los Angeles’ acquisition of 95% of the valley’s land and water was in fact authorized under the law and facilitated by the federal government in the name of “the greatest good of the greatest number in the long run.” But, over the 105 years since the Los Angeles Aqueduct was completed, notions of what constitutes the greatest good – and the long run, for that matter – have shifted, opening plenty of space for contention and debate in what once seemed a simple calculus. (read more)


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