04: Present Weather and Climate: Average Conditions

Present Weather and Climate: Average Conditions offers a snapshot of the region’s current climate—in terms of temperature, precipitation, and snowpack—and reviews the factors that define the range of climates found across the Southwest, and that contribute to climate variability and hazards, such as droughts, floods, wildland fires, diminished air quality, and extreme temperatures.


Steenburgh, W. J., K. T. Redmond, K. E. Kunkel, N. Doesken, R. R. Gillies, J. D. Horel, M. P. Hoerling, and T. H. Painter. 2013. “Present Weather and Climate: Average Conditions.” In Assessment of Climate Change in the Southwest United States: A Report Prepared for the National Climate Assessment, edited by G. Garfin, A. Jardine, R. Merideth, M. Black, and S. LeRoy, 56–73. A report by the Southwest Climate Alliance. Washington, DC: Island Press.

W. James Steenburgh (University of Utah)
Kelly T. Redmond (Western Regional Climate Center and Desert Research Institute)
Kenneth E. Kunkel (NOAA Cooperative Institute for Climate and Satellites, North Carolina State University and National Climate Data Center)
Nolan Doesken (Colorado State University)
Robert R. Gillies (Utah State University)
John D. Horel (University of Utah)
Martin P. Hoerling (NOAA, Earth System Research Laboratory)
Thomas H. Painter (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)

Key Findings

Figure Gallery