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Published May 23, 2012
Arizona Drought Status(data through 5/15/12)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Below-average precipitation and above-average temperatures have intensified drought conditions and expanded extreme drought across Arizona during the past 30 days. About 96 percent of Arizona is classified with moderate drought or a more severe drought category, according to the May 15 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figures 4a–b). Extreme drought expanded by 5 percent since April 17 and now covers a large swath of the Navajo Nation. Severe drought slightly expanded in Mohave County.
In drought-related news, the Interagency Coordinating Group of the Arizona Governor’s Drought Task Force met earlier this month to review current drought conditions and impacts across the state. Based on drought impact reports and a review of recent hydroclimatic observations from multiple federal, state, and local agencies, the group recommended reaffirming and continuing the current state Drought Emergency Declaration that has been in place since 1999. Reaffirming this declaration allows the state to continue to provide emergency drought relief to impacted communities and to work with federal agencies like the Farm Services Agency to access their disaster relief assistance programs. More information is available at http://www.azwater.gov/azdwr/StatewidePlanning/Drought/DroughtStatus2.htm.
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.
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