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Published June 20, 2011
U.S. Drought Monitor(data through 6/14/11)
Data Source(s): U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Drought Mitigation Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Few changes have occurred in drought conditions across the western U.S. during the past 30 days (Figure 3). Most of the West is experiencing wet and drought-free conditions, including parts of California and the Rockies in Montana, which have received more than 200 percent of average precipitation since late May. The Southwest including Texas, on the other hand, is mired in drought. In the past month, conditions have worsened across large parts of New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. Fire restrictions are in place across the Southwest and have reached up into southeastern Colorado due to the increasing drought conditions. Impacts to agriculture, including crops, pastures, and grasslands, as well as impacts to water resources are likely affecting most of New Mexico and parts of southern Arizona.
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
- Dan Ferguson, CLIMAS Program Director
- Gregg Garfin, Founding Editor, Institute of the Environment
- Zack Guido, CLIMAS Associate Staff Scientist
- Gigi Owen, CLIMAS Assistant Staff Scientist
- Nancy J. Selover, Arizona State Climatologist
- Jessica Swetish, CLIMAS Publications Assistant
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