Southwest Climate Outlook April 2006

Date issued

April Climate Summary
Drought – Most of the Southwest remains in severe or extreme drought due to the
long-term precipitation deficits.
• Drought conditions are expected to persist throughout most of the Southwest.
Some improvement is expected in western New Mexico and southern
and eastern Arizona.
• The extremely low snowpack in most of the basins in Arizona and New
Mexico has led to a streamflow forecast of well below average for 2006.
• Reservoir conditions are improved from last year, but the large Colorado
River reservoirs and important New Mexico reservoirs remain below average.
Fire Danger – The long-term moisture deficits and the abundant fine dry fuels
point to a very active fire season from grassland into higher elevation timber.
Temperature – Since the start of the water year on October 1, temperatures over
most of the Southwest have been above average.
Precipitation – Almost all of the Southwest has been drier than average since the
start of the water year, despite some rain and snow in March and April.
Climate Forecasts – Experts predict increased chances of warmer-than-average
temperatures through September and equal chances of precipitation through June.
El Niño – Ongoing La Niña conditions are expected to continue over the next one
to three months.
The Bottom Line – Drought is likely to persist over most of the Southwest. Hydrological
drought continues to affect streamflow and some large reservoir levels, and
agricultural drought conditions have persisted throughout the region.

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.