Southwest Climate Outlook January 2008

Date issued

January Climate Summary
Drought – Drought conditions have remained unchanged or improved slightly
across Arizona and New Mexico due to precipitation in late November and December.
These early winter storms missed much of eastern New Mexico, leaving abnormally
dry conditions to persist there. The precipitation across Arizona has improved
short-term drought status, but most of the state is experiencing some type of drought.
Temperature – Temperatures have been below average for the past thirty days
across Arizona and New Mexico. Most locations observed temperatures 3 to 6 degrees
F below average for the period.
Precipitation – Much of Arizona and New Mexico observed below-average precipitation
over the past thirty days. Only northern portions of both states saw average
to above-average precipitation due to storms crossing the region in early January.
ENSO – A moderate La Niña is still underway in the Pacific Ocean and is expected
to persist through the spring. Forecasts point to a mature La Niña event that is impacting
circulation patterns across the Pacific Ocean.
Climate Forecasts – Seasonal climate forecasts continue to indicate that aboveaverage
temperatures and below-average precipitation are in store for the Southwest
through the spring.
The Bottom Line – Cool and wet conditions in December brought accumulating
snow and some short-term drought relief to much of Arizona and New Mexico—a
pleasant surprise given the moderate La Niña event underway. The current event is
expected to persist and bring below-average precipitation to much of the Southwest
through the spring. The current short-term precipitation deficits could continue if
typical La Niña impacts emerge as expected over the next several months.

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.

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