Southwest Climate Outlook December 2004

Date issued

December 2004 Climate Summary
Hydrological Drought
– Hydrological drought continues in Arizona and much of
New Mexico.
• Storage in many reservoirs held nearly steady or increased slightly this
• Northeastern and central Arizona and northwestern New Mexico remain
in extreme drought, while conditions in northwestern Arizona improved
– Western Arizona and eastern New Mexico have received from 400–
800 percent of average precipitation during the water year. Snowpack is also above
average in many Southwest river basins.
– Water year temperatures are near average in the Southwest. The past
30 days have been cooler than average.
Climate Forecasts
– Long-lead forecasts call for increased chances of above-average
temperatures in Arizona and western New Mexico for the next 6 months. Increased
chances of wetter-than-average conditions are predicted through May 2005.
El Niño
– Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean remain indicative
of a weak El Niño, which is expected to continue until May 2005.
The Bottom Line
– The Southwest is expected to see limited improvement in
drought conditions through early 2005, although reservoir levels are forecasted to
remain low.

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.