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Published April 27, 2011
Data Source(s): High Plains Regional Climate Center
Temperatures since the water year began on October 1, 2010, averaged between 55 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the southwest deserts and along the Arizona–California border, 50 to 55 degrees F in southeastern Arizona and along the southern New Mexico border, 40 to 50 degrees F in central New Mexico, and 30 to 45 degrees F across the Colorado Plateau and northern New Mexico (Figure 1a). Despite some extreme cold events, the Southwest was generally warmer than average this winter (Figure 1b). Temperatures were 0 to 1 degree F warmer than average across the Colorado Plateau and along the Arizona–California border, 0 to 2 degrees F warmer in central Arizona and New Mexico, and 1 to 4 degrees F warmer than average along eastern and south-central New Mexico. In contrast, temperatures in Sierra and Grant counties in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern San Juan County were 0 to 2 degrees F cooler than average. In northwest Arizona, a few extremely cold storms caused the six-month average temperature to fall below average.
Temperatures during the past 30 days also were affected by storms. The warmest areas occurred in regions that experienced the least rainfall, such as southeastern Arizona and southern New Mexico, where temperatures were 2 to 8 degrees warmer than average (Figures 1c–d). The warmest area in southeastern New Mexico also occurred where no storms passed over the past 30 days.Notes:
The water year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year. Water year is more commonly used in association with precipitation; water year temperature can be used to measure the temperatures associated with the hydrological activity during the water year.
Average refers to the arithmetic mean of annual data from 1971–2000. Departure from average temperature is calculated by subtracting current data from the average. The result can be positive or negative.
The continuous color maps (Figures 1a, 1b, 1c) are derived by taking measurements at individual meteorological stations and mathematically interpolating (estimating) values between known data points. The dots in Figure 1d show data values for individual stations. Interpolation procedures can cause aberrant values in data-sparse regions.
These are experimental products from the High Plains Regional Climate Center.
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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