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Published August 23, 2011
Arizona Drought Status(data through 8/16/11)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Monsoon thunderstorms have been spottier than usual and relatively infrequent over much of Arizona over the past 30 days, bringing little relief to drought conditions plaguing much of the state. Drought expanded across western Arizona, while conditions eased slightly in far southeast Arizona in the last month, according to the August 16 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figures 4a–b). In far northwestern Arizona, incursions of moisture and thunderstorms have been few and far between, leaving mounting precipitation deficits and the return of abnormally dry conditions to this region—abnormally dry conditions are not a drought category but signal drought will develop if dry conditions continue. In southeastern Arizona, a handful of widespread precipitation events over Cochise and Graham counties during the last 30 days have slightly reduced extreme and exceptional drought, but overall drought conditions are still very severe due to long-term precipitation deficits and a lackluster monsoon season so far. Reports submitted through Arizona DroughtWatch
(http://azdroughtwatch.org) for southeast Arizona continue to portray very poor rangeland conditions and impacts to livestock that include calling herds, hauling water, and providing supplemntal forage due to continuing extreme drought conditions.
The Arizona section of the U.S. Drought Monitor is released weekly (every Thursday) and represents data collected through the previous Tuesday. The 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.
For the most current drought status map, visit :
For monthly short-term and quarterly long-term Arizona drought status maps, visit :
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.
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