This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, August 7, 2015. The next update in early November will reflect the conditions of July, August and September.
Arizona’s long-term drought status map is updated quarterly. The 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.
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Long-term Drought Status Update: April - June 2015
There has been slow improvement across the eastern half of the state over the past 4 months, finally resulting in changes to the long term drought map. Seven watersheds in the eastern half of the state have improved from moderate drought to abnormally dry, while the Upper and Lower Colorado and Lower Gila have remained in either abnormally dry or no drought. The Salt and Upper Gila remain at moderate drought even though stream flow has been above average recently. The longer term water resource condition for these watersheds is still a significant long-term deficit.
Much of the improvement is due to spring precipitation, and even the Upper Colorado system in Colorado has several very late snowstorms, which will help alleviate the poor run-off into Lakes Powell and Mead from the dry winter.
So far the monsoon has been a little wetter than normal in some parts of the state, but very localized. There are two more months of monsoon left, and the eastern Pacific Ocean is still quite warm, so there are good prospects for more moisture to be drawn into the monsoon circulation.
- Coming soon - Arizona DroughtView - a tool for collecting and displaying local drought impacts.
- NASA launches soil moisture mapping satellite 1/31/2015.