#Monsoon forecast isn’t rosy, but it’s better than last year — The Farmington Daily Times

North American Monsoon graphic via Hunter College.

From The Farmington Daily Times (Mike Easterling):

  • This year’s outlook calls for near-average to slightly below-average precipitation for the Southwest.
  • It also calls for slightly above-average to above-average temperatures for the region.
  • San Juan County received only 0.13 inches of precipitation during June, July and August of 2019.
  • “It is definitely a better outlook than last year,” meteorologist Andrew Church of the National Weather Service in Albuquerque said shortly after posting the “2020 Monsoon Outlook for Central and Northern New Mexico” on the agency’s website on the afternoon of June 15. “It was one of the hottest and driest on record.”

    This year’s outlook calls for near-average to slightly below-average precipitation for the Southwest and slightly above-average to above-average temperatures for the region. That means conditions are not set up for a wet, cool summer…

    Last summer’s hot-and-dry weather in the Southwest was a function of the so-called “Four Corners High” — a high-pressure system that typically sets up over the region — failing to slide east and allowing a deep southerly flow to push into New Mexico…

    Church doesn’t see the same thing happening this year, even though summer monsoon seasons in the American Southwest, with a few exceptions, have been increasingly disappointing for the last 15 years or so. In fact, he said he and his colleagues have taken to calling those dud years “nonsoons.”

    The long-term trend pushing that change, he said, largely can be attributed to global warming. Church said the rapid warming of the Earth’s poles has impacted the jet stream, making it less predictable and more volatile. He described the jet stream as the steering mechanism for the subtropical moisture that feeds monsoon storms, so changes in its behavior will impact where that moisture goes.

    Leave a Reply