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Published September 26, 2012
U.S. Drought Monitor(data through 9/18/12)
Data Source(s): U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Drought Mitigation Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Drought conditions pushed north over the western U.S. during the past 30 days due to the persistence of hot and dry weather (Figure 3). Monsoon thunderstorms came to large swaths of Arizona, Nevada, and southern Utah, helping to beat back short-term drought conditions. These areas saw the most improvements in drought conditions. On the other hand, the largest expansion of drought occurred in the northern Rockies in Idaho and Montana, as moderate to severe drought expanded north to consume much of both states. Overall, 84 percent of the western U.S. is experiencing some level of drought; moderate or a more severe drought covers 76 percent.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is released weekly (every Thursday) and represents data collected through the previous Tuesday. The inset (lower left) shows the western United States from the previous month’s map.
The U.S. Drought Monitor 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.
The best way to monitor drought trends is to pay a weekly visit to the U.S. Drought Monitor website:
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.
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