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Published March 21, 2012
Arizona Drought Status(data through 3/13/12)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions have expanded and intensified across Arizona during the past 30 days, according to the March 13 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor. Although a few storms moved across the Southwest in late February and early March, they ferried scant rain and snow, causing precipitation deficits to mount across the region. A much-needed winter storm struck many parts of Arizona and New Mexico around March 18, but more rain and snow is needed to compensate for a dry January and February.
As of March 14, precipitation across Arizona during the previous 30 days was less than 50 percent of average for all of the state, with many central and western locations recording no precipitation at all. This late winter dry spell caused severe drought conditions to expand north and west. Drought now occupies more than 60 percent of the state, an increase of about 27 percent from one month ago (Figures 4a–b). Extreme drought conditions also have developed over Maricopa and Pinal counties, where total winter precipitation values are less than 10 percent of average. About 92 percent of the state was classified with moderate or a more severe drought category as of March 13.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
- 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.
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