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Southwest Climate Hub Bulletin

News and events for the Southwest Hub region

July 2022

Beyond Envisioning – Growth of a Regional Drought Network

In early February 2020, a team of scientists and partners came together to envision a network designed to better support people coping with drought. Within a month everything changed. The COVID-19 pandemic kept us working remotely for the next few years and could have halted network progress and growth. But, the combination of exceptional drought conditions, determined climate-service providers, and extreme need bolstered the network. Therefore, with gratitude, the team met again in June 2022 to learn from State climatologists, water managers, producers, and scientists to develop goals for the next year.

The top 10 goals and activities of the 5 Drought Learning Network (DLN) teams for the next year:
  1. Facilitate peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange between managers. 
  2. Capture and provide documentation of drought adaptation, mitigation, and resilience strategies, including lessons learned, and share via written case studies, podcasts, and videos. 
  3. Build a cadre of student interns to author case studies. 
  4. Launch a drought & forage outlook podcast. 
  5. Actively involve more agricultural service providers. 
  6. Conduct a regional drought needs assessment including a literature review and gap analysis. 
  7. Develop outreach kits focused on tool information and drought science translation. 
  8. Host an in-person Four Corners drought monitoring workshop. 
  9. Continue monthly Drought Briefings with a focus on conditions and resources. 
  10. Identify regional drought indicators. 

Are you interested in joining a team? Please contact for more information.

Southwest Climate Hub Videos 

The Southwest Climate Hub publishes videos from meetings and webinars on our SW Climate Hub YouTube Channel. We have made a new landing page on our website for quickly finding recent videos so that viewers don’t have to search through YouTube to find our content. Currently, we are featuring the most recent videos from the annual Drought Learning Network meeting that was held in Las Cruces in June 2022.

New Case Study on the Development of the Southwest Drought Learning Network Now Available 

The Southwest Drought Learning Network (DLN) works closely with the Collaborative Conservation and Adaptation Strategy Toolbox (CCAST) to highlight Case Studies on drought and climate change adaptations. Please visit and share the DLN’s latest CCAST Case Study, which explores the development of the DLN itself and lessons learned in its first two years of existence. The online StoryMap may be found here, and its accompanying two-page handout here. A special thank you to Southwest Climate Hub intern, Viktorya Martinez, who worked with the DLN and CCAST to develop these resources!

Collaborative Drought Monitoring webinar series with Navajo Sustainable Agriculture Project

The five-part webinar series began on June 16, 2022.  Dave DuBois gave an update about the seasonal outlook and forecast for the Four Corners region. We learned how to submit our drought impact reports using CMOR with Kelly Smith. Casey Spackman informed us about rangeland and livestock management options in drought conditions. We will learn more from Julie Elliot about Grass-Cast on July 6, 2022, and from Keith Howard about the Navajo Climate Change Adaption on July 12, 2022. Webinars begin at 5:30 pm MT. 

The Navajo Sustainable Agriculture Project (NSA Project) goals are to improve the operations, profitability, and sustainability of socially disadvantaged Navajo farmers and ranchers and veteran farmers and ranchers. The NSA Project team consists of Dr. Michael Patrick, Project Director, Jesse Jim, Field Coordinator, and Kelle Lantana, Field Specialist. Please visit our webpage for more information and upcoming events. 

Register here for our Drought Monitoring webinar series through July 12, 2022, in collaboration with Helena Deswood, from the Drought Learning Network (DLN) and Southwest Climate Hub. Recorded webinars will be posted on our websites and YouTube channels.


Come Rain or Shine Podcast

The Come Rain or Shine Podcast reports actionable science to facilitate adaptation and resilience in the Southwest. Here’s a look at some of our most recent episodes:

Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Navajo Nation Forests, a conversation with Dr. Margaret Evans, and forestry consultant Jaime Yazzie, to learn more about developing strategies to promote forest resilience to drought and extreme fire. 

Managing for Change: California’s Giant Sequoias, a conversation with Dr. Christy Brigham and Dr. Joanna Nelson where they share their knowledge and experiences working to conserve the iconic trees.

Assessing Risk When Relocating Species, a discussion with Dr. Mark Schwartz and Aviv Karasov-Olson about a new tool for assessing the biotic risks associated with a managed relocation project as a continuation of our series on managing for ecosystem transformation.

Behind the Scenes of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, join Dr. Carolyn Enquist and Dr. Dave Gutzler as they discuss the making of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report along with the scope and purpose of the report.

Find us on Buzzsprout at: 

Want to know when a new episode is released? Sign-up for email alerts here.

Weather Monitoring Station Inventory in the Southwest Climate Hub Region

The Southwest Climate Hub is developing a monitoring station inventory of various types of weather monitoring stations in the southwest. The inventory includes an interactive map depicting tribal lands, land cover, watershed boundaries, and active and inactive stations for national and state-based monitoring networks. We used MesoWest to identify state-based mesonets in the region. National monitoring networks include Snowpack Telemetry SNOTEL, Cooperative Observer Program (COOP), Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS), Automated Surface Observing Systems (ASOS), Automated Weather Observing System (AWOS), and Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS). The monitoring station inventory will be used to identify areas in New Mexico where new monitoring stations may be installed.

Sustainable Southwest Beef Project On-Ranch Demonstration

On March 10, 2022, Sustainable Southwest Beef Project held an On Ranch Demonstration, hosted by Matt and Kristen Redd who manage The Nature Conservancy’s Dugout Ranch in Monticello Utah. The purpose of the field day was to provide an opportunity for local producers and stakeholders to observe in action and ask questions about novel strategies for sustainability in beef production, such as the use of Raramuri Criollo cattle, along with some of the other environmental research projects being implemented on the ranch. 

Environmental Justice Atlas: A Tool for Mapping Conflict Around Environmental Issues

With environmental justice receiving renewed attention, including the current administration’s “Justice40” initiative, a tool for learning about this topic may be of interest. Since 2015, the Environmental Justice Atlas has served as a repository for information about environmental conflicts around the world. Case studies cover a range of topics from the impacts of mining and fossil fuel extraction to water and waste management. Information is sourced from hundreds of collaborators, and anyone can register to contribute. Currently, only 30 of the nearly 4,000 cases are within the Southwest Climate Hub region, so opportunities both to learn and to contribute abound!

Climate reporting for the Southwest

El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO)

As of June 9, 2022, the ENSO alert system status is La Niña Advisory. Forecasters predict a 52% chance of La Niña to continue into late summer. Learn more about additional ENSO perspectives and analysis available at the NOAA ENSO Blog and the ENSO Tracker - June 2022, an analysis by CLIMAS
National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center Outlooks

1-month outlook
As of June 16, the one-month outlook for July shows a 33-70% chance for above-normal temperature for the southwest. There will be a 33-50% chance for above-normal precipitation in Arizona and equal chances of precipitation for the southwest.

3-month outlook
As of June 16, the three-month outlook (Jul-Aug-Sep 2022) shows a 33-70% chance of above-normal temperatures for the southwest. There will be a 33-50% chance of above-normal precipitation for Arizona and an equal chance for precipitation for Nevada, Utah, and part of New Mexico. These outlooks are created monthly by NOAA Climate Prediction Center and based on departures from the 1991-2020 base period. To view more short-term outlooks, please visit the NOAA's National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.


Drought conditions remain in the southwest with a 1-class degradation in areas of Utah and Nevada and 1-class improvement in portions of New Mexico and Arizona. The image below is an animation map for the past 6 weeks of the drought monitor maps. The second image Further is the change map to illustrate the difference in drought class change for the past 4 weeks. For a more detailed drought summary in your area of interest, visit the U.S. Drought Monitor website.  

Animation Map (May 24 - June 28, 2022)

Change Map (May 31 - June 28, 2022)


Southwest Adaptation Forum

If you are interested in attending the Southwest Adaptation Forum (SWAF), please complete the pre-application form here as in-person space is limited. Pre-application puts your name on the list to receive more information in the coming months and to be notified when the application becomes available. The 2022 SWAF, hosted by the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, South Central Climate Adaptation Science CenterUSDA Southwest Climate Hub, and Southwest Decision Resources, will be held at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM. The forum will be held on October 10-12, 2022,  and will build on work started at the 2018 and 2021 SWAFs, further exploring topics relevant to adaptation practitioners in the Southwest, such as cultural burning, drought, and ecosystem transformation. 

Job Opportunity - Project Specialist
The East-West Center is accepting applications for a limited, two-year appointment (with possibility of extension) for a Project Specialist within the Research Program. The Project Specialist will lead a joint EWC and University of Hawaiʻi project to identify locally and sectorally-relevant climate indicators and metrics for the Republic of the Marshall Islands and Palau, and to support the creation of integrated, sector-specific early warning systems. Read more here
Grasslands & Climate Change Training Series 

July 20th at 2pm CT/ 1pm MT / 12pm PT Grasslands, Climate, and Landcover Change Central North American grassland ecosystems are projected to experience transitions at fine and coarse scales resulting from climate change and human land uses. Following the first two sessions of this series (climate change fundamentals, grassland climate projections, and phenology), this session will focus on landcover/vegetation responses to future climates.  August 31st at 1pm CT/ 12pm MT/ 11am PT Grasslands, Climate, and Trust Species For the past half-century, grassland birds have been declining faster than any other group of birds. Habitat loss and degradation are driving many of these declines, but the emerging threat of climate change and associated increases in extreme events pose even more challenges. Using grassland birds as a case study, we will discuss new research on how climate change impacts grassland birds, from range shifts to demographic consequences. Sign up here:
Southern Plains DEWS Partners Dialogue
August 2-3, 2022 | NCED Hotel and Conference Center, 2801 East State Hwy 9, Norman, OK Register now for the Southern Plains Drought Early Warning System Partners Dialogue by July 19, 2022. This regional gathering will bring together partners within the Southern Plains Drought Early Warning System (DEWS) network. Register here:

Funding Opportunities

FY 2022 Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (UAIP) Competitive Grants Program
Deadline: October 27, 2022
Award Ceiling: $10,000,000

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program Education and Workforce Development Program
Deadline: October 27, 2022
Award Ceiling: $10,000,000

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational and Applied Science Program
Deadline: December 31, 2022
Award Ceiling: $15,000,000


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