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SW Climate Outlook - La Niña Winter Precip in the SW

Friday, December 22, 2017

Looking more closely at winter Dec-Feb (DJF) precipitation, most weak La Niña events (ENSO Index Value between -0.5 and -1.0) recorded below-average precipitation, although a few years (1968, 1985) are notable outliers (Figs. 5-6). Looking at the monthly breakdown of weak, moderate, and strong La Niña events reveals that while the DJF totals for Tucson, AZ and Las Cruces, NM are mostly below average (Figs. 7-8), there have been some individual months that recorded precipitation above the monthly average (represented by black lines on the plots). (read more)

SW Climate Outlook - La Niña Tracker - Dec 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017

After a relatively late start, La Niña has ramped up over the past 30 days in terms of observed conditions and projected intensity, with sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) demonstrating a more consistent La Niña pattern (Figs. 1-2). Current forecasts and outlooks suggest a weak-to-moderate La Niña event lasting through the winter. (read more)

SW Climate Outlook Dec 2017 - Climate Summary

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Precipitation & Temperature: November precipitation was below average across most of Arizona, with record-dry conditions in the western third of the state (Fig. 1a). In New Mexico, precipitation was average to much-below average, with small pockets of record-dry conditions in the central part of the state (Fig. 1a). November temperatures broke record highs across nearly all of Arizona and New Mexico (Fig. 1b). (read more)

Green Infrastructure as a Climate Action Planning Strategy for the Southwest

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Population growth, demographic trends, and competition over water resources places increasing demands on existing water supplies, which are subject to demand from end-users fluctuating levels related to temperature and precipitation patterns. In the Southwest, an issue that has become a priority concern is the increased frequency of drought from warming temperatures due to climate change, and how that will impact the supply of water in the near future. In order to conserve water, communities in arid and semi-arid climates are increasingly recognizing green infrastructure as a cost-effective approach that conserves water and also manages stormwater. Furthermore, in order for the Southwest to increase its capacity to respond effectively to future changes in climate, the region must begin to integrate innovative solutions that support sustainable development. (Read More)

Nov 2017 SW Climate Outlook - La Niña Tracker

Friday, November 17, 2017

Most models now suggest that a weak La Niña event has emerged (Figs. 1-2) and is likely to last through this winter. On Nov. 8, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology called for a 50-percent chance of La Niña forming in 2017, noting that while sea-surface temperatures had cooled, the cooling had stalled, whereas atmospheric indicators had shifted slightly toward weak La Niña. (read more)

SW Climate Outlook Nov 2017 - Climate Summary

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Precipitation & Temperature: October precipitation was below average to record driest in Arizona, with the driest conditions occurring in the southwestern corner of the state (Fig. 1a). In New Mexico, precipitation was average to above average in the eastern half of the state, and average to below average in the western half (Fig 1a). October temperatures were above average to much-above average across both Arizona and New Mexico (Fig. 1b) except for small regions in the north and in eastern New Mexico. (read more)

SW Climate Outlook - ENSO Tracker - Oct 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

Oceanic and atmospheric indicators remain generally within the range of ENSO-neutral but have shifted more towards La Niña conditions in the past month (Figs. 1-2). Most seasonal outlooks and forecasts reflect these changes, and continue to call for the formation of a La Niña event as the most likely outcome by the end of fall and continuing into this winter. (read more)

 

SW Climate Outlook Monsoon Recap - Oct 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

The North American Monsoon was quiet for much of the Southwest through early July. The rest of July was active and numerous locations approached or set single-month precipitation records. August saw a widespread shutdown of monsoon activity across much of Arizona, which lasted for the rest of the official season. During the same period, New Mexico saw more consistent precipitation activity, including a last gasp in late September when a cluster of storms hit both central and far southern parts of the state. (read more)

 

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