Southwest Climate Outlook March 2006

Date issued

March Climate Summary
Drought – Recent rain and snow brought some short-term relief to the Southwest,
but most of the region is in severe or extreme drought.
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.
Reservoirs have improved since last year, but many remain below average.
Fire Danger – The rain and snow received in mdi-March may delay the start of the
fire season, but the abundant fine dry fuels still point to a very active fire season.
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, especially during the last four months.
Climate Forecasts – Forecasts show 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
three to six months.
The Bottom Line – Drought is likely to persist throughout most of the Southwest
following some temporary improvement in Arizona and northwestern New Mexico.
Hydrological drought continues to affect some large reservoir levels, and agricultural
drought conditions have persisted throughout most of 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.