2002 Annual

Monday, 14 January 2002
Analysis of the 2001 North American Monsoon and Pacific Tropical Storm Season Impacts on Arizona and New Mexico
Roxanne Linsley, NASA Space Grant Intern, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
For those that live in Arizona and New Mexico, the wait for the summer monsoons can be an agonizing and frustrating event. The North American Monsoon is responsible for half of the yearly precipitation received by both Arizona and New Mexico. In these desert regions, farmers, fire experts, and other decision-makers anxiously look to the skies in the hopes of drenching rains. Preliminary analysis indicates that the 2001 Monsoon season had below average precipitation. In fact, it was the 9th driest monsoon season on record. Furthermore, the large spatial variability is shown not only on the state and climate division level, but also within the various monitoring stations in Tucson, Arizona and Albuquerque, New Mexico. This report, as a part of the ongoing NOAA funded Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS), will discuss the considerable spatial and temporal variation of the monsoon precipitation on weekly to monthly time scales with some comparison to previous monsoons. In addition, it will also look at how the Pacific Tropical Storm Season impacts the monsoon and the amount of precipitation experienced by Arizona and New Mexico. By discovering how the monsoon varies spatially and temporally, future predications can be made available to agricultural, fire management, and water resource decision-makers and stakeholders.

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