Southwest Climate Outlook March 2008

Date issued

March Climate Summary
Drought – Continued wet conditions have helped improve short-term drought
conditions across much of Arizona this month. Drought conditions expanded across
southern and eastern New Mexico due to below-average precipitation in February.
Temperature – Temperatures were close to average across much of Arizona and
New Mexico over the past thirty days.
Precipitation – Much of Arizona and northern New Mexico observed belowaverage
precipitation over the past thirty days. Spotty precipitation fell across the
northern portions of both states during the period.
ENSO – Strong La Niña conditions persisted again this month across the Pacific
Ocean. Sea surface temperatures fell to 3 degrees C in parts of the western Pacific
while the Southern Oscillation Index rose to 2.7, both indicative of a strong and
mature La Niña.
Climate Forecasts – Seasonal climate forecasts project above-average temperatures
and equal-chances for below-average, average, or above-average precipitation. While
strong trends in increasing temperatures continue to support an above-average temperature
forecast for the Southwest.
The Bottom Line – Arizona and New Mexico appear to be making the transition
from an unusually wet and cool winter into a warm and dry spring. Drought conditions
have improved across much of Arizona and northern New Mexico, but have
deteriorated across southern New Mexico due to persistent below-average precipitation.
La Niña is expected to continue through the spring, but typically has diminished
impacts on the Southwest during this dry season. Seasonal climate outlooks
reflect this diminished impact.

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.