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Published November 23, 2010
Arizona Drought Status(data through 11/16/10)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Abnormally dry conditions remain across western and northern Arizona but drought conditions declined from one month ago (Figure 4a). Currently, drought conditions are absent from 51.2 percent of the state, up from about 40 percent as reported in the October 19 issue of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figure 4b). Also, a small area in northern Arizona that was classified as experiencing severe drought last month has been downgraded to moderate drought this month. The precipitation forecast issued by the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) calls for increased chances of dry conditions in Arizona throughout the winter and early spring. The CPC drought forecast, which is in part based on the precipitation forecasts, suggests drought conditions will expand in the coming months. Both of these forecasts are influenced by the current moderate to strong La Niña event. These events often bring drier-than-average winters to the region.
Drought impacts reported by Arizona DroughtWatch indicate that rangelands are still in poor shape across northwestern Arizona from a lack of summer rainfall. This also suggests that the recent rains may have limited benefit in improving range conditions because of the late timing. Reports in northwestern Arizona also indicate surface water storage in reservoirs is unusually low and many smaller stocks are dry. More drought impact reports can be viewed on Arizona DroughtWatch’s webpage at http://azdroughtwatch.org/.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.
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