End InSight January 2003

Date issued

Extended extreme drought in the Northern Rockies and northern Great Plains has been the focus of recent national news. Dry conditions there, which are likely to be exacerbated by ongoing El Niño conditions, have raised concerns about serious water shortages in those regions. During the past month, drought conditions have eased somewhat for northern and eastern New Mexico, and they have intensified slightly in Arizona. Most of Arizona remains in drought conditions ranging from severe to exceptional. Short-term drought conditions, especially in New Mexico, have eased with cool temperatures, winter rain and snowfall. However, winter precipitation has been below average at many mountain locations in both states. Thus, long-term (hydrological) drought remains the chief concern of land and water resource managers in both states. During the past month the mountain snowpack water content has decreased to the point where most snow gauges in the Southwest are reporting below average amounts. This dryness has drawn down reservoirs throughout the region. In addition, the impact of winter 2002-2003 precipitation on spring 2003 streamflow is likely to be tempered, due to deficits in soil moisture accumulated over the past several years of drought

Published by the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), with support from University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Arizona State Climate Office, and the New Mexico State Climate office.

Disclaimer. This packet contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials. The user assumes the entire risk related to the use of this data. CLIMAS, UA Cooperative Extension, and the State Climate Office at Arizona State University (ASU) disclaim any and all warranties, whether expressed or implied, including (without limitation) any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will CLIMAS, UA Cooperative Extension, and the State Climate Office at ASU or The University of Arizona be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit resulting from any use or misuse of this data.