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Published September 20, 2011
Arizona Drought Status(data through 9/13/11)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Despite an active monsoon system during the second week in September, record-high temperatures in the past month and sporadic rain have led to the expansion and intensification of drought conditions across Arizona, according to the September 13 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figure 4a). Currently the entire state is characterized by abnormally dry conditions or a more severe drought category. About 25 percent of the state is experiencing moderate and severe drought conditions, 17 percent is blanketed in extreme drought, and about 2 percent falls into the exceptional drought category (Figure 4b). Extreme and exceptional droughts are defined as droughts that occur, on average, once in every 20 and 50 years, respectively. In the last month, extreme drought expanded by about 8 percent, while exceptional drought decreased by less than a half percent. Since the monsoon began on June 15 drought in Arizona has expanded and intensified in all regions except the southeast corner, where monsoon storms have been most vigorous.
Some of the negative impacts associated with drought and reported on Arizona DroughtWatch (http://azdroughtwatch.org) include poor range conditions, unusually low flow in streams and springs, and increased wildfire danger.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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