Warm Temperatures, Active Wildfire Season Projected
Since January 1, precipitation in Arizona and New Mexico has been less than 50 percent of average, but thanks to higher-than-average precipitation in December, less than half of each state is currently in extreme or exceptional drought. The April Climate Outlook from CLIMAS reported that temperatures were 2 to 6 degrees F warmer than average over the past 30 days, and warm temperatures are projected to continue through the monsoon.
These high temperatures and low precipitation will likely contribute to an above-normal wildfire potential during May through July across most of Arizona and western New Mexico, according to the National Seasonal Assessment just released by the National Interagency Fire Center. In addition to Arizona and New Mexico, the assessment forecasts seasonal fire potential for all of the western states and also predicts an above-normal season for northern Nevada, central Utah, western Colorado, and parts of California.