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Published August 21, 2013
Seasonal Drought Outlook(data through October 2013)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
This summary is partially excerpted and edited from the August 15 Seasonal Drought Outlook technical
discussion produced by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and written by forecaster B. Pugh.
Drought improvement is expected for parts of Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona in coming months, particularly in New Mexico (Figure 12). Drought is also expected to persist in many areas in the Southwest. Drought improvement is noted because the September precipitation outlook issued by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) indicates enhanced odds for above average precipitation. In addition, the 6-10 day outlook tilts the odds toward above average precipitation across eastern Colorado. Since rainfall associated with the monsoon diminishes during September, forecast confidence for widespread drought improvement across Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico is low.
Elsewhere in the West, drought is forecast to persist across the Great Basin, intermountain West, and northern half of the Rocky Mountains. Since decision support tools suggest above-average temperatures will accompany dry weather from August 16–30, drought may worsen across these areas. While the CPC seasonal outlook for the September–October period suggests slightly enhanced odds for above average precipitation across northern Idaho and Montana, precipitation later in this period is expected to be offset by hot, dry weather during the remainder of August. The CPC assigns a high confidence in this forecast.
Along the West Coast, the wet season usually doesn’t begin until later in the September–November period and historically delivers 20–30 percent of the annual precipitation to northern California and southwest Oregon. Farther south, across central and Southern California, only 10 to 20 percent of the region’s annual precipitation occurs during the September–November period. Due to the relatively dry climatology until late in the period, drought persistence is forecast for the West Coast. The CPC assigns a high confidence for this forecast.
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::
For medium- and short-range forecasts::
For soil moisture tools::
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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