Temperatures above average in Kingman

Temperatures in Kingman were slightly above average in October and that pattern is expected to continue throughout the winter, according to weather experts.

"We're expecting warmer than normal temperatures in the Southwest during December, January and February and near normal precipitation," said John Adair, a staff meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Las Vegas.

However, Adair cautioned that the National Climate Prediction Center in Silver Springs, Md., has issued an advisory that the Southwest is in a neutral pattern as far as El Nino or La Nina oscillation is concerned.

That near normal pattern means bigger fluctuations in temperatures and precipitation.

During a La Nina, easterly trade winds strengthen.

Cold water upwelling off the coasts of Ecuador and Peru intensifies and sea surface temperatures may drop by as much as eight degrees.

Such conditions normally confine warmer water and subsequent rainy weather to the western Pacific.

In El Nino years, sea surface temperatures rise in the eastern Pacific.

That results in added moisture reaching Arizona, especially during the winter months.

Data supplied by the Arizona State University Office of Climatology indicates Kingman received no measurable precipitation during October, a month in which average rainfall is .76 inches.

Average daily temperatures in Kingman were 80.5 for the high and 51.9 for the low in October.

Normal temperatures for that month average 77.3 for the maximum and 50 for the minimum.

A strong ridge of high pressure in place over the Four Corners region during October was responsible for the lack of rainfall in the Kingman area, Adair said.

But that high pressure ridge has broken down and is allowing a low pressure trough carrying Pacific storms to drop southward from Washington and Oregon into California and Arizona, said Randy Cerveny, professor of geography at Arizona State University.

That puts Arizona under more favorable rainfall patterns at present.

"In the short term, the next two weeks should be colder and wetter," Cerveny said.

"But if you look at the three-month prediction they say we'll have above normal temperatures and near normal precipitation, so they don't anticipate the pattern will stay in place.

"In the last week, storms have rotated through Arizona and worked their way into the Great Plains.

Conditions have been nasty in Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi."

Cerveny was asked about the chances of Kingman residents experiencing a white Christmas.

"The key is can we keep the trough in place long enough to allow for you folks to have snow," he said.

"I would not bet the farm on it."