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Published May 22, 2013
Seasonal Drought Outlook(through August 2013)
Data Source(s): NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC)
This summary is partially excerpted and edited from the May 17 Seasonal Drought Outlook technical discussion produced by the NOAA-Climate Prediction Center (CPC) and written by forecaster D. Miskus.
After a wet November and December in the West, record dry conditions enveloped the region from January through April. Most of the West is now in the midst of the normally dry summer and fall months, making it unlikely that substantial precipitation will occur during the next several months. Moreover, 5-day, 6–10 day, and 8–14 day forecasts, as well as the June and June–August outlooks, do not call for wetter-than-average precipitation. Consequently, the drought forecast for most of the West calls for drought to persist or develop (Figure 12).
For the Southwest monsoon region, models do not agree on the strength of summer precipitation. As a result, the CPC forecasts equal chances that July–September rain will be below-, near-, or above-average. With drought conditions widespread, it is likely that the dry conditions will persist and may even develop in the White Mountains of Arizona. If a vigorous monsoon does occur, drought likely will improve but not disappear. The CPC states that it has moderate confidence in its drought forecast for the West.
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.
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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 Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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