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Date: 9/15/2014

Title: More Wet in the Southwest

For the second time in many weeks another major hurricane will ride northward along the west coast of Mexico (Baja area). 

Hurricane Odile will follow closely along the same path as Hurricane Norbert did during the first week of September.

With Odile following the same path and the fact that Odile may end up being a stronger hurricane could spell trouble for some beef producers in the Desert Southwest and Southern Rockies.

Rarely, do we show concern for too much rainfall in the Desert Southwest, especially in the recent drought in the far west and southwest United States.

Even after the record rains from Hurricane Norbert, many areas in the far west and southwest remain in severe to extreme drought conditions.


However, within a week’s time some of the severe to exceptional drought areas of Arizona and New Mexico (and possibly southern Nevada) could see their drought status change as 1 to 6 inches of rain from the remnants of Hurricane Odile could fall in those areas.

Unfortunately, the rain will arrive fast and furious which could result in dangerous and destructive flash flooding in Arizona, New Mexico, southeastern California and far southwest Texas.

There may also be enough moisture spreading northeast into the southern plains to bring possible heavy rains into portions of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

You may be thinking that all of this hurricane activity is Mexico and the Desert Southwest is not normal. While, this is not usually a yearly occurrence or even something that happens every five years or so, tropical activity over western Mexico and the Desert Southwest has happened many times in the past. This is especially true when the water temperatures are above normal along the west coast of Mexico (which they are now) as well as during some weak El Nino situations (we are in a developing weak El Nino). Therefore, this pattern is not result of some crazy or new climate pattern.

Below is a brief list of the remnants of hurricanes and the year they occurred and brought heavy rains to the Desert Southwest.

Nora (1997), Octave (1983), Heather (1977), Doreen (1977), Kathleen (1976), Javier (2004), Lester (1992), Raymond (1989), Boris (1990), Marty 2003).