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Published August 22, 2012
Arizona Drought Status(data through 8/14/12)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Drought conditions changed very little over the past 30 days, with all of Arizona experiencing moderate to extreme drought (Figures 4a–b). Monsoon precipitation provided short-term drought relief in some areas, including parts of northern and central Arizona, but overall was spotty over the past month. Current drought conditions across the state stem from long-term precipitation deficits, particularly those that have accumulated over the past two years. Along stretch of average to above-average precipitation will be necessary to bring conditions back to normal. Monsoon precipitation through the rest of the summer season will help ease short-term drought conditions but will not erase them.
In drought-related news, ongoing dry conditions have reduced the water supply for Safford in eastern Arizona, forcing the mayor and city council to declare a state of emergency and set in place mandatory water use restrictions (Eastern Arizona Courier, August 15). Also, streamflow in Bonita Creek, the main surface water supply for the city, was down 18 percent at the end of July, making it difficult for the city to meet water use demand. The Stage One water restrictions call for residents to reduce nonessential water use and limit watering landscapes during daytime hours.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 Dubois, New Mexico State Climatologist
Please direct your Southwest Climate Outlook comments and suggestions to Zack Guido.
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