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Published August 21, 2013
Arizona Drought Status(data through August 13, 2013)
Data Source(s): U.S. Drought Monitor
Monsoon precipitation has been bountiful in some areas of the state, helping improve short-term drought conditions in some regions. However, drought conditions were extensive and intense at the start of the monsoon season, and widespread and substantial improvements will likely only occur if the monsoon continues to produce copious rain and the upcoming winter delivers above-average rain and snow.
Currently, all of Arizona is at least abnormally dry, with severe or more intense drought covering 56 percent of the state, according to the August 13 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor (Figures 4–b). This marks an improvement from one month ago in the area designated with severe, extreme, or exceptional drought, which stood at about 73 percent on July 13. The biggest short-term drought improvements, the result of above-average monsoon precipitation, were in southeast Arizona and along the high country of the Mogollon Rim. Some areas in southeast Arizona, including Douglas and Sierra Vista, recorded near-record or record precipitation totals during July. Douglas, for example, experienced its wettest July on record and is on track to notch its wettest summer. This very wet period prompted a two-category improvement in short-term drought conditions from severe in mid-July to abnormally dry in mid-August.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.
Current drought status map:
Monthly short-term and quarterly long-term Arizona drought status maps:
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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