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Published June 27, 2012
Arizona Drought Status(data through 6/19/12)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions worsened across Arizona during the past 30 days as a result of high summer temperatures and the unusually dry conditions that have persisted since late December. All of Arizona is classified with moderate drought or more severe conditions, according to the June 19 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figures 4a–b). Severe or worse drought covers more than 90 percent of the state, representing a 24 percent increase in area classified with these categories from one month ago. The most extreme drought conditions continue to be in the northeast and central part of the state, where long-term precipitation deficits approach 6 to 8 inches for the past six months. Extreme drought in the northeast corner ballooned, occupying about 16 percent of the state on May 15 compared with nearly 25 percent on June 19.
Ongoing drought conditions are impacting native vegetation across the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona (Associated Press, June 17). Many desert-adapted plant species are suffering under the current drought, as are prickly pear, saguaro cacti, and other succulent plants.Notes:
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 Dubious, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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