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Published April 24, 2013
Seasonal Drought Outlook(through July 2013)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
This summary is partially excerpted and edited from the April 18 Seasonal Drought Outlook technical discussion produced by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and written by forecaster A. Artusa.
Drought is expected to persist for most of the Southwest as a result of below-average snowpacks, which generally contain less than 75 percent of average snow water content as of April 18, and below-average streamflow forecasts for spring and summer, according to the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC). Also, there are increased chances for below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures for the May–July period in many parts of the Southwest, which favors drought persistence as well. The small region in central Arizona around the Mogollon Rim, which is currently drought-free, is expected to develop drought conditions in coming months. However, drought impacts emerge more vigorously when deficits of rain and snow are large, and the low historical occurrence of precipitation in May and June in this region precludes this from occurring.
Elsewhere, drought is projected to improve as a result of recent wet conditions across the Colorado Front Range, where snowpack in the higher elevations has increased by as much as 18 inches between April 15 and April 22. Short-term forecasts also call for more precipitation in this region. The recent and projected wet conditions, as well as the lack of a dry signal in forecast tools for the May–July period, suggest some improvement across eastern Colorado and parts of northeast New Mexico. The CPC assigns a moderate to high confidence in the drought forecast for these areas.
The delineated areas in the Seasonal Drought Outlook are defined subjectively and are based on expert assessment of numerous indicators, including the official precipitation outlooks, various medium- and short-range forecasts , models such as the 6-10 day and 8-14 day forecasts, soil moisture tools, and climatology.
For more information, visit:
For medium- and short-range forecasts, visit:
For soil moisture tools, visit:
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 Dubious, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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