Southwest Climate Outlook May 2004

Date issued

Hydrological Drought – Hydrological drought continues in the Southwest.

• Interior Arizona and New Mexico reservoirs are still at well below-average levels.

• The levels of Lake Powell and Lake Mead are well below average. Colorado

River Basin states’ water resource managers are discussing plans of action for possible future shortages.

Precipitation – Following copious early April precipitation across southern Arizona and most of New Mexico, the region has been seasonally dry. Snowmelt has been early across our region, and low snowpack in the Upper Colorado River Basin is driving forecasts for below-average inflow to Lake Powell.

Temperature – Temperatures have been well above average across the Southwest since around the third week of April.

Climate Forecasts – Seasonal forecasts indicate considerably increased probabilities of above-average temperatures across Arizona and most of New Mexico through the summer months.

El Niño – Conditions in the tropical Pacific Ocean remain neutral. Forecasts do not indicate a strong likelihood for the development of either El Niño (wet Southwest winter) or La Niña (dry Southwest winter).

The Bottom Line – Hydrological drought is expected to persist in most of the Southwest through the summer. There is no drought-ending “silver-bullet” on the horizon.

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.