Southwest Climate Outlook October 2003

Date issued

Drought continues to persist in many parts of the southwestern United States. Over the past 30 days there have been short-term improvements in parts of northeast Arizona and in northwest New Mexico where areas in extreme drought (D3) were reclassified to indicate severe drought status (D2). Three tropical sources of moisture in late September and early October provided rain for much of southern Arizona and resulted in improved short-term drought status for southern Arizona. However, far less precipitation from these events fell north and east of Pima county, contributing to the persistence of extreme drought conditions (D3) in the eastern corner of southeast Arizona and much of central and southwestern New Mexico. Virtually all of Arizona and New Mexico experienced temperatures 2-8°F above the 1971-2000 average during the past 30 days. Despite recent rains in some parts of the region, most of Arizona and virtually all of New Mexico remains under severe to extreme hydrological drought conditions.

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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