- The Plants
- Grow Native
Arizona has experienced dramatic hydroclimatic variability over the past several years with back-to-back record warm and dry summers and an intervening winter season with near average precipitation in 2020. The winter and spring seasons of 2021 are also shaping up to be drier and warmer than average helping to intensify short-term drought conditions across the state. At the same time, longer-term drought conditions dating back to the mid-90’s continue to impact water resources across the region. What is the difference between short and long-term drought and its impact on different resources? Is this type of shorter-term climate variability normal for Arizona or a harbinger of things to come? Will the current long-term drought end? This presentation will explore the unique aspects of Arizona’s hydroclimate that control precipitation variability at both short and long timescales as well as how increasing temperatures relate to drought conditions. We will also explore climate model projections for Arizona and what they mean in terms of potential changes in temperatures and precipitation patterns in coming decades.
Dr. Michael Crimmins is on the faculty of the Department of Environmental Science at the University of Arizona and is an Extension Specialist in Climate Science for Arizona Cooperative Extension. He has been in this role for 15 years working with ranchers, farmers and natural resource managers across Arizona to integrate climate information in their planning and decision making and assisting them in developing strategies to adapt to a changing climate. He also serves as a drought monitoring expert on the Arizona Governor’s Drought Task Force.