Southwest Climate Outlook February 2004

Date issued


Hydrological Drought – Hydrological drought continues in the Southwest.

• All New Mexico reservoirs are at well below average levels, although small gains have been made at Elephant Butte reservoir.

• Storage in the major Colorado River reservoirs is still below average and continues to fall.

Precipitation – Recent precipitation should bring short-term drought relief to Arizona and northern New Mexico. Water year precipitation for most of the southwest is still below average. Since January 2004, there have been increases in precipitation and percent of average snow water content. However, snowpack is still quite low for this time of year for most of Arizona and New Mexico.

Temperature – During the past 30 days, temperatures have been below average across the Southwest. Last month’s temperature outlook did not anticipate below-average temperatures across our region.

Climate Forecasts – Seasonal forecasts indicate considerably increased probabilities of above-average temperatures across Arizona and New Mexico through the spring and summer months. Precipitation forecasts do not suggest strong probability anomalies for either above- or below- average precipitation. The U.S. Drought Outlook suggests improvement in drought conditions for Arizona and northern New Mexico.

ENSO – There is a slightly better-than-average chance of a weak El Niño episode developing in 2004, but ENSO conditions will likely remain neutral during the first half of 2004.

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.