The Southwest Climate Outlook is published on the third Thursday of every month, and focuses on the climate & weather patterns for the SW more generally, and Arizona and New Mexico in particular. This month's issue includes sections on precipitation and temperature for the past month or so, reservoir totals for AZ & NM, drought and monsoon trends, a summary of the fire season, an El Niño watch, and a look forward at the precipitation and temperature outlook for the next 30-90 days (read more).
On June 25-27, 2014, a team of researchers from CLIMAS and the California-Nevada Applications Program (CNAP) convened a workshop at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, NV. The goal? We wanted to address the complex and uncertain future of Great Basin land management in the Central Great Basin (California and Nevada), and to provide state and federal agency partners with streamlined and purposeful means of incorporating climate change information into land management practice. (read more)
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, we take a broad view of the Colorado River Basin, exploring how the river is managed, who uses the water, and what a potential shortage could mean for the system. Our guest is Doug Kenney, Director of the Western Water Policy Program, a division of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment, at the University of Colorado School of Law. (read more)
June was a hot and dry month across Arizona with little in the way of precipitation and lots in the way of wind and extreme fire weather. This isn’t all that unusual for June in Arizona, but temperatures were exceptionally warm and passing weather systems brought unwelcome wind which periodically enhanced fire danger to extreme levels. The weather pattern throughout the month was a battle between the strengthening sub-tropical high to our south and late season spring storm pushing through the Southwest from the north. (read more)
It was one year ago that lightning struck and ignited the Yarnell Hill Fire, a devastating wildfire that resulted in the deaths of 19 firefighters who were members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. This year, a combination of drought conditions, high winds and high temperatures all call for an intense fire season. Predictions indicate above-normal fire potential, and indicators suggest the onset of the monsoon season will be delayed.
Since October, we've had very low precipitation – averaging less than half of average across large portions of the state – accompanied by low snowpack and temperatures that have been well above average.
The combination of these factors, along with bursts of dry winds that are typical for the spring, gives us conditions of above-normal fire potential, which is what the Southwest Coordination Center, the main fire prediction center for our region, predicted beginning in late January. (read more)
Just how old are the forests in the Chuska Mountains in the northeastern part of the Navajo Nation? How might those forests fare in a climate that will be warmer and probably drier than anything they've ever experienced?
In early June I had the chance to tromp around in the woods with a group of experts working to answer these questions. Our intrepid leader was UA Laboratory of Tree Ring Research PhD student Chris Guiterman who—I now know—is a man with a plan. The plan goes something like this...(read more)