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SW Climate Outlook - La Niña Tracker - Jan 2018

Thursday, January 18, 2018

La Niña conditions have continued for another month at weak-to-moderate strength, with both atmospheric and oceanic conditions, including sea-surface temperatures (SSTs), demonstrating a consistent La Niña pattern (Figs. 1-2). Forecasts continue to suggest that a weak-to-moderate La Niña event will last through the winter before weakening this spring. (read more)

SW Climate Outlook Jan 2018 - Climate Summary

Thursday, January 18, 2018

December Precipitation & Temperature: December precipitation ranged from average to much-below average across most of Arizona and New Mexico, with record-dry conditions along the western edge of Arizona and in pockets of central and eastern New Mexico (Fig. 1a). December temperatures were above average to record warmest in both states (Fig. 1b), continuing the pattern observed during fall 2017. (read more)

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)

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