4: 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.

The region’s climate is highly varied and strongly influenced by topography, storm tracks, and proximity to oceans (seen here from space).
Full Chapter PDF: 
Fact Sheet PDF: 


Contact us 

Media representatives, please email swclimate@email.arizona.edu
or call 520-626-4372.
For Coordinating Lead Author contact information see 'Authors' page here.