Southwest Climate Outlook August 2003

Date issued

Hydrological Drought – Hydrological drought continues to be a major concern for the Southwest.

•Most New Mexico river basins remain in emergency drought status, and reservoir storage in the Rio Grande and Pecos Basins is likely to decline by the end of summer.

•Groundwater levels in many parts of New Mexico continue to decline.

•Current storage has continued to decrease in most Arizona reservoirs.

Precipitation – Summer monsoon rainfall has displayed great geographic variation across the Southwest. Most of New Mexico has had a very dry summer, as has southeastern Arizona. Parts of western and north-central Arizona have received average to above-average precipitation this summer.

Fire – Fire danger is above average only across south-central and eastern New Mexico. Monsoon rains have eased fire danger over most of our region, but in some areas of New Mexico fuel moisture remains at historically dry levels.

Range Conditions – New Mexico and Arizona continue to have exceedingly poor range and pasture conditions (relative to state averages) in the United States.

Temperature Forecasts – Seasonal temperature forecasts indicate increased probabilities of above-average temperatures across Arizona and most of New Mexico through the winter months. Seasonal precipitation forecasts indicate slightly decreased probabilities of below-average precipitation across Arizona and western New Mexico this fall.

ENSO – Equatorial Pacific sea surface temperatures have increased slightly, but, overall, ENSO conditions are neutral, and are expected to remain neutral for the rest of 2003.

The Bottom Line - Hydrological drought will continue in the Southwest during the next several months, and New Mexico water supplies will continue to decline at least until the end of the summer.

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.