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Drought Status

View Arizona's drought status

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Short-term Drought Status Summary  

Note: The map to the left updates automatically on a weekly basis.

The following drought status summary for October 2014 reflects changes as of the October 28, 2014 Drought Monitor.

October’s short-term drought status remains the same as September’s, reflecting significant short-term drought relief brought by the monsoon to most parts of the state. The area of the state in extreme drought dropped from 16.8% at the end of June to 3.75% at the end of October, and the area in severe drought decreased from 76% to 38% over the summer. The improvement was largely due to a series of tropical storms that brought moisture northward from the Gulf of California, resulting in heavy rainfall through much of the state in August and September. The only part of the state that did not benefit from monsoon rainfall was the northeast.


This report was produced by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, November 4, 2014. The Monitoring Technical Committee confers weekly to advise the U.S. Drought Monitor authors on the current conditions in Arizona. The U.S. Drought Monitor is the official record of drought for Federal drought relief claims. At the end of each month, the Monitoring Technical Committee produces the short-term drought status summary above, based on U.S. Drought Monitor maps for the past four weeks.





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Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee

The Monitoring Technical Committee is responsible for gathering data about Arizona drought, climate, and weather; producing drought status reports; and disseminating that information to land managers, policy-makers, and the public.

Co Chairs:

Nancy Selover, Arizona State University,

Mark O'Malley, 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 

Paul Culberson, Arizona Division of Emergency Management 

Chris Smith, U.S. Geological Survey,

Long-term Drought Status Update: July - September 2014

Monsoon precipitation brought improvements to long-term drought, most notably in the Verde, Agua Fria, and Lower Colorado River watersheds. These three watersheds all improved by one category, and one watershed (Lower Colorado) has no drought.

The very wet monsoon likely caused some improvement on many other watersheds in central and southern Arizona (such as the San Pedro), but not enough to compensate for longer term drought conditions over the entire watershed.

The next update in early February will reflect the conditions of October, November and December.

Posted November 4, 2014

The Monitoring Technical Committee meets quarterly to discuss drought conditions throughout the state and produce the long-term drought status map.  Long- term drought status for each watershed is determined by comparing the precipitation and streamflow percentiles for the past 24, 36 and 48 months to a 40-year historical record.


Method for Determining Long-term Drought Status

Method for Determining Drought Categories

When Adjacent Watersheds Differ by Two or More Categories




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