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Securing Arizona's Water Future

Drought Status

View Arizona's drought status


Short-term Drought Status Update

A number of severe storms hit Arizona in October, bringing tornados to the Flagstaff area, and tennis ball size hail in some areas of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Northern Arizona had widespread precipitation and cooler temperatures as a cold low pressure system moved through the state in the first week of October. The precipitation helped to fill stock ponds in some locations, but was too late in the season to affect most of the vegetation, which is going dormant. Southern Arizona had scattered precipitation, with the driest areas in the southeast and along the eastern border. Short-term drought conditions improved in the northwest quadrant through northern and western Coconino and central Mohave counties.

Summary produced by the State Drought Monitoring Technical Committee - Novembver 4, 2010.

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july long-term map

Long-term Drought Status

The long-term drought situation benefitted from the wet El Niño winter, particularly at the higher elevations along the Mogollon Rim, the White Mountains in eastern Arizona and across northern Arizona. This brought the Upper Colorado, Upper Gila, Lower Gila, and Salt River watersheds out of drought. Most other watersheds in northern and central Arizona also improved by one or two categories. Southern Arizona did not benefit as much from the El Niño winter, but some watersheds with higher elevations experienced a wet monsoon, particularly in the southeast quadrant. The Santa Cruz, San Pedro, and Willcox Playa watersheds all improved one category. The San Simon and White Water Draw remain in moderate drought. Few improvements are anticipated this winter, especially in southern Arizona, as a strong La Niña has developed in the central Pacific Ocean, which is associated with a drier than normal winter across the southern United States. While Arizona’s reservoirs are nearly full, groundwater basins have only partially recharged, and the Colorado River reservoirs, Lakes Powell and Mead, are quite low. Without an exceptionally wet winter, there could be a shortage on Lake Mead by 2013, according to the Bureau of Reclamation.

Summary produced by the State Drought Monitoring Technical Committee - November 4, 2010

   How is long-term drought status determined?

Previous Reports

     2006 - 2008 Drought Monitor Reports


Monthly Drought Monitor Reports are produced by the State Drought Monitoring Technical Committee:

Co Chairs:

Nancy Selover, Arizona State University

Gary Woodall, National Weather Service


Mike Crimmins, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension 

Charlie Ester, Salt River Project 

Dino DeSimone, Natural Resources Conservation Service 

Gregg Garfin, University of Arizona - Institute for the Study of Planet Earth 

Joe Urrea and Ron Ridgway, Arizona Division of Emergency Management 

Chris Smith, U.S. Geological Survey 



Drought in your backyard Drought Meter