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Southwest Climate Podcast: Monsoon Frequency vs. Intensity, & El Niño Still Dragging its Heels

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

In the August Southwest Climate Podcast, Zack Guido and Mike Crimmins talk about variability and timing of monsoon precipitation, and why frequent and sustained moisture might matter more than heavy infrequent rains (for drought, especially).  El Niño is still dragging its heels, but it still looks good for a weak to moderate event this winter. (read more)

 

El Niño Watch - Aug 21, 2014

Thursday, August 21, 2014

An “El Niño Watch” continues this month as issued by the NOAA Climate Prediction Center several months ago. The watch is just that: we are waiting and watching for the development of a full-fledged El Niño event that has yet to materialize across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Several indicators of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) status declined, moving back towards ENSO-neutral values over the past month instead of leaning towards an El Niño event as they had been.  These shifts included slight cooling in the eastern Pacific Ocean and near-average wind patterns along the equator. But for those cheering on the development of an El Niño event, not all hope is lost (read more).

This post was originally published as part of the August 2014 Southwest Climate Outlook

Monsoon Summary (June 15 - Aug 19)

Friday, August 22, 2014

The 2014 monsoon can be characterized many ways—the amount and intensity of rain has been spotty both spatially and temporally, the humidity has been persistently high, and precipitation has improved short-term drought conditions in many areas. Certainly it cannot be characterized as a dud. (read more)

This post was originally published as part of the August 2014 Southwest Climate Outlook

Notes from an Applied Climatologist: Q & A on El Niño, Predictions, and Indices

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What is the exact criteria to call something El Niño?  Is El Niño a continuum or is there a binary switch where it's either an El Niño event or not?

How closely linked is the strength of El Niño with observable effects in the Southwest?  Would a weak El Niño look that different from no El Niño at all?  (read more)

Recap: Drought and Water Supplies in the Southwest - 1075' Shortage on the Colorado River

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

This week, we released the 5th episode in the CLIMAS podcast series[1] 1075' - Shortage on the Colorado River, which explores what a shortage declaration on the Colorado River would mean to those living in the Southwest.  In this post - Ben McMahan recaps some of the key issues that formed the impetus for this podcast series, summarizes the podcast episodes, and gives some backstory from folks who have been writing about the Colorado River (Basins) for years (read more)

1075' - Shortage on the Colorado River Ep. 5 - Tucson Water & Muncipal Water Issues

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

1075’ – Shortage on the Colorado River is a CLIMAS podcast series that explores what the first shortage declaration on the Colorado River would mean to those living in the Southwest.

In this episode, CLIMAS climate scientist Zack Guido speaks with Alan Forrest, Director of Tucson Water, about various strategies that Tucson implemented to deal with potential water shortages, the conservation and recapture efforts that areas of municipalities in Southern Arizona, and the practical realities of providing municipal water to an growing population in the southwest. (read more)

Notes from an Applied Climatologist - July 2014 Rainlog Climate Summary

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July started off with a bang with moisture and thunderstorm activity moving into Arizona over the 4th of July weekend. This start date for monsoon thunderstorm activity was very close to the climatological start date of July 3rd, as determined by the old dewpoint definition (three consecutive days with average dewpoints >= 54F) in Tucson. The ‘monsoon ridge’ of high pressure was in an ideal position over the first two weeks of July to guide abundant subtropical moisture into the state, providing fuel for almost daily thunderstorm activity across parts of southeastern Arizona and the high country along the Mogollon Rim. (read more)

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