Southwest Climate Outlook May 2008

Date issued

May Climate Summary
Drought – Short-term drought conditions remain normal for much of Arizona.
However, in the southeast, conditions remain abnormally dry and conditions in the
central section of Cochise County have degraded to moderate drought levels. Most
of New Mexico continues to experience elevated drought conditions.
Temperature – this month Arizona and New Mexico temperatures generally hovered
within 2 degree F of average. In Arizona, the southeast region has experienced
temperatures slightly above average, while the northeastern section has seen belowaverage
temperatures. In New Mexico, the higher elevations in the Northwest have
experienced lower temperatures; the eastern half has seen slightly higher temperatures.
Precipitation – For the past thirty days, virtually all of Arizona and New Mexico have
received below-average precipitation. Precipitation for large swaths of area in Arizona
and western New Mexico has been less than 5 percent of average. The San Francisco
Peaks area in Arizona is one of only a few locations that received more than the average
precipitation. The low precipitation during the last thirty days does little to
change the drought status due to abundant winter precipitation in parts of the state.
Climate forecasts – Seasonal climate forecasts suggest an enhanced probability
that Arizona and New Mexico will experience above-average temperatures through
the summer and fall. The forecast for precipitation is more ambiguous, with equal
chances that the Southwest will experience above- or below-average precipitation.
The Bottom Line – Typical La Niña conditions were reflected in Arizona and New
Mexico last month when the region saw far below-average precipitation. Although
forecasts call for an equal chance of above-, near-, or below-average precipitation for the
ensuing months in the Southwest, models suggest temperatures will be above average.
With hotter temperatures and abundant dry fuels, expect a higher potential for fires.

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.