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Published August 25, 2010
U.S. Drought Monitor(data through 8/17/10)
Data Source(s): U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Drought Mitigation Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The coverage and extent of drought conditions in the western U.S. has not substantially changed during the past 30 days (Figure 3). Currently, only 25 percent of the region is experiencing drought conditions, a decrease of about three percent from one month ago.
Moderate drought is still a concern across much of northern California and small parts of the intermountain West where impacts are expected to predominantly affect water and agriculture resources. Also, abnormally dry conditions cover parts of Nevada and Arizona, although monsoon rains have helped alleviate drought conditions in these areas. However, monsoon rains have been confined largely to higher elevation areas in the Southwest and also in Utah and Colorado. This has helped promote some improvements in short-term drought conditions in Utah and Colorado as well.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is released weekly (every Thursday) and represents data collected through the previous Tuesday. The inset (lower left) shows the western United States from the previous month’s map.
The U.S. Drought Monitor maps are based on expert assessment of variables including (but not limited to) the Palmer Drought Severity Index, soil moisture, streamflow, precipitation, and measures of vegetation stress, as well as reports of drought impacts. It is a joint effort of several agencies; the author of this monitor is Brian Fuchs, National Drought Mitigation Center.
The best way to monitor drought trends is to pay a weekly visit to the U.S. Drought Monitor website:
Southwest Climate Outlook Staff
- Michael Crimmins, UA Extension Specialist
- Stephanie Doster, Institute of the Environment Editor
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, Managing Editor, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Dollin, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
- Dave Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
The CLIMAS Web site contains official and non-official forecasts, as well as other information. While we make every effort to verify this information, please understand that we do not warrant the accuracy of any of these materials.... Read full disclaimer