Dust from deserts in the U.S. Southwest may increase precipitation during the monsoon season by up to 40 percent in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, according to a recent study published in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.
Scientists find that emissions of black carbon aerosols—small atmospheric particles—and tropospheric ozone, pollutants mostly emitted by countries in the low- to mid-latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, are expanding the width of the tropical boundary.
May 2011 thru April 2012 was the warmest consecutive 12-month period on record for the contiguous U.S., according to the April State of the Climate from NOAA. The month of April was the third warmest on record for the U.S., with temperatures 3.6 degrees F above average, while precipitation was 0.20 inches below average.
There is general consensus among scientists that in a warmer world, dry regions are predicted to get drier and wet regions are predicted to get wetter.
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.
March was 8.6 degrees F warmer than average across the contiguous U.S., making it the warmest March on record with over 15,000 high temperature records broken, according to NOAA. Only one other month has seen a larger departure from its average, January 2006.
Three new analyses on climate extremes together explain how extremes may change in the future, what’s driving them, their impacts on people and ecosystems, and how we can adapt. The most extensive report is from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and it details the current state of knowledge on climate extremes.
A high-altitude, high-speed NOAA jet, the Gulfstream IV-SP, will fly over the North Pacific Ocean during the next two months, collecting data on temperature, humidity, pressure, and wind speed and direction in the upper atmosphere.
Climate change could shift summertime hail to simply rain on the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado by 2070, NOAA scientists find.
Temperatures throughout the West and Southwest were cooler than average during December, with some areas reporting temperatures 6-10 degrees F below normal, according to the December State of the Climate from NOAA. Most of Texas was wetter than average, improving drought conditions in the northern part of the state.