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CLIMAS

Rio Grande-Bravo Outlook November 2017

Forecasts favor above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation for the Rio Grande/Bravo Basin through February, due to weak La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific.


Los pronósticos favorecen las temperaturas superiores a la media y las precipitaciones inferiores a la media para la cuenca del Río Grande / Bravo hasta febrero, debido a las condiciones débiles de La Niña en el Pacífico tropical.

3
ENSOHUB:  
Not part of ENSO Hub
MONSOONHUB:  
Unrelated to SW Monsoon
DROUGHTHUB:  
Non-Drought Hub Related

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)

Southwest Climate Outlook November 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. Thus far, November has been mostly dry in the Southwest (Fig. 2), while temperatures have mostly been above average (Fig. 3). Year-to-date precipitation ranges widely from much-below average in southeastern Arizona to much-above average in northeastern New Mexico (Fig. 4a). Year-to-date temperatures have been consistently warmer than average, with nearly all of Arizona and New Mexico recording much-above average temperatures, including pockets of record-warmest conditions in both states (Fig. 4b).

Snowpack & Water Supply: Snow water equivalent (SWE) is mostly below average across the Southwest, whereas the opposite has occurred in the Pacific Northwest (Fig. 5). Our dry conditions are partially attributable to persistent warm temperatures and relatively dry conditions in October and November. With the emergent weak La Niña event – and its associated warmer and drier conditions in the Southwest – the potential implications for drought and water resource management are something to watch over the winter season.

Drought: The trend of relatively widespread drought conditions in most of Arizona and western New Mexico continued this past month. The southern third of Arizona is mostly classified as D1 (moderate drought) with a small pocket of D2 (severe drought), while the northern two-thirds is mostly classified as D0 (abnormally dry) with pockets of D1. New Mexico is free of drought designation except for the western edge, which is classified as a mix of D0 and D1 (Fig. 6).

ENSO & La Niña: October saw the onset of a La Niña event that is expected to continue through at least winter 2018. However, the current forecast also suggests this will remain a weak La Niña event, for which correlations to below-average winter precipitation in the Southwest are not as evident (see La Niña Tracker on p. 3-4 for more details).

Tropical Storms: The 2017 eastern Pacific tropical storm season is winding down, and as of Nov. 16, 2017, there have been 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes – totals that fell within the expected range of the May 25 NOAA seasonal forecast for 14-20 named storms, including 6-11 hurricanes and 3-7 major hurricanes. Notably, while the eastern Pacific basin was active, very little of the mid-to-late season activity (September-October) reached the Southwest this year. In a typical year, the Southwest often sees a few mid-to-late season tropical storms curve back into the region. Those that arrive prior to Sept. 30 can help boost monsoon seasonal totals, while those that arrive after Oct. 1 can jumpstart water-year precipitation.

Precipitation & Temperature Forecast: The three-month outlook for December through February calls for increased chances of below-average precipitation for nearly all of Arizona and New Mexico (Fig. 7, top), and increased chances of above-normal temperatures for the entire southwestern United States (Fig. 7, bottom).

16
ENSOHUB:  
Not part of ENSO Hub
MONSOONHUB:  
Unrelated to SW Monsoon
DROUGHTHUB:  
Non-Drought Hub Related

Nov 2017 SW Climate Podcast - A Tale of Two Octobers in the Southwest

Thursday, November 9, 2017

In the Nov 2017 episode of the CLIMAS SW Climate Podcast, Mike Crimmins and Zack Guido sit down to discussion temperature and precipitation in the Southwest over the past month or so, and the discrepancy between Arizona and New Mexico re: precipitation.  They also dive into ENSO and the emergent (weak) La Niña conditions, and what this might mean, taking a close look at last year (another weak La NIña) and other weak La NIña events of the past decades. They wrap up with a quick summary of the seasonal outlooks for the Southwest.

CLIMAS Colloquium Series - Climate & Health in the Southwest

Please join us for presentations about CLIMAS projects focused on climate and health. These presentations will focus on project overview, background, and goals, and will leave time for discussion and input from colloquium attendees.

This event is open to the public - Join us to hear about exciting new CLIMAS research, and contribute to an ongoing dialogue about CLIMAS projects going forward!

Rio Grande-Bravo Outlook October 2017

Forecasts favor above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation for the Rio Grande/Bravo Basin through January.


El pronóstico favorece las temperaturas por encima de la media y las precipitaciones por debajo de la media para la Cuenca del Río Grande / Bravo hasta enero.

3
ENSOHUB:  
Not part of ENSO Hub
MONSOONHUB:  
Unrelated to SW Monsoon
DROUGHTHUB:  
Non-Drought Hub Related

Southwest Climate Outlook October 2017

Precipitation & Temperature: September precipitation was much-below average to below average across central and southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, while northeastern New Mexico recorded above-average to much-above-average precipitation for the month (Fig. 1a). September temperatures were average to much-above average in New Mexico, and below average to much-above average in Arizona (Fig. 1b). October temperatures to date have been quite warm, especially in the southern portions of Arizona and New Mexico. Year-to-date precipitation ranges widely from much-below average in southeastern Arizona to much-above average to record wettest in northeastern New Mexico (Fig. 2a). January through September temperatures have been consistently warmer than average, with nearly all of Arizona and New Mexico recording much-above average temperatures, including small pockets of record-warmest conditions in both states (Fig. 2b).

Monsoon Tracker: Persistent dry conditions in September meant 2017 monsoon precipitation totals saw little change in the last weeks of the monsoon, especially in Arizona. New Mexico recorded a late-season surge, with heavy rainfall observed in a number of locales just in time to be counted in the seasonal totals (Figs. 3, 5a; see Monsoon Tracker for more details).

Drought & Water Supply: Arizona has seen a return to short-term drought designation (D0: abnormally dry) in eastern and southeastern regions. This designation, in addition to the long-term drought designations (D0: abnormally dry and D1: moderate drought) that are persisting along the U.S.-Mexico border in southwest Arizona, mean that well over 50 percent of Arizona had some form of drought designation as of October 2017. New Mexico is nearly free of drought designation, with just one small area of D0 (abnormally dry) in the western part of the state (Fig. 4; also see Arizona and New Mexico reservoir storage and water supply).

Water Year 2017: Water-year (Oct 2016 – Sept 2017) precipitation was normal to above normal in most of New Mexico, while Arizona ranged from well-below normal in southern and eastern areas to above normal in the northwest part of the state (Fig. 5b). Notably, the pattern of below-normal precipitation extended into the Upper Basin of the Colorado River (in Utah and Colorado), an important fact to monitor going into this next winter and water year given the strong influence that drought in the Upper Basin can have on Lower Basin water availability and management.

El Niño Southern Oscillation: Current conditions are generally in the range of ENSO-neutral, while seasonal outlooks and forecast models continue to suggest La Niña as the most likely outcome this winter (See ENSO Tracker for more details).

Tropical Storms: The eastern Pacific tropical storm season has been active in 2017 with 17 named storms, including nine hurricanes of which four were major (greater than category 3), and the season is not yet over. This is in line with the seasonal outlook for 2017, which predicted 14-20 named storms, 6-11 hurricanes and 3-7 major hurricanes. Despite an average to above-average number of storms, they have not been active in driving moisture into the Southwest. This is one factor that has contributed to the drier-than-average conditions observed in late August and most of September, which often sees increased precipitation linked to tropical storm activity.

Precipitation & Temperature Forecast: The three-month outlook for October through December calls for increased chances of below-average precipitation for most of Arizona and New Mexico (Fig. 6, top), and increased chances of above-normal temperatures for the entire southwestern United States (Fig. 6, bottom).

16
ENSOHUB:  
Not part of ENSO Hub
MONSOONHUB:  
Unrelated to SW Monsoon
DROUGHTHUB:  
Non-Drought Hub Related

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