July 2020 Southwest Climate Podcast - The Monsoon's "Late" Start in Context Edition


In the July 2020 edition of the CLIMAS Southwest Climate Podcast, Mike Crimmins and Zack Guido update their discussion of the 2020 wildfire season, which is turning out to be quite active for Arizona (while New Mexico is relatively quiet). Next, they move on to monsoon 2020, focusing on what the outlooks and forecasts had to say about this year, how this slow start compares to previous years, and asking the question ‘does a late start matter?’ for the overall seasonal totals (hint: it’s complicated). They also include a discussion of “key numbers” for the monsoon and a discussion of some recent literature about the role of widespread precipitation events and regional monsoon precipitation totals. They are joined at the end by Ben McMahan to talk a bit about the monsoon guessing game - where they discuss the guesses they received for July and look forward to seeing even more people play for August and September - Details Below:

Monsoon Game Details: Ben, Zack, and Mike developed a monsoon game that anyone can play. For each month, they are estimating monthly precipitation at five cities in the US Southwest (Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Albuquerque, and El Paso). To keep it simple, they are picking the decile they think is most likely for each station, and focusing on the core months of monsoon precipitation (July-Aug-Sept). Points are awarded each month (see the survey link for details), and they will tally up points over the monsoon and see who scores highest for each month, each location, and overall. They had around 35 players for July (see figures below), but you can still get your guesses in for August (and eventually September).

Make your August guess at https://bit.ly/3h2ZInS

We’ll publish results on the podcast page and in the SWCO each month, but be sure to tune in to the podcast for more details about the game and the monsoon.

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Audio file

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The Southwest Climate Podcast