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.
This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, February 3, 2017. The next update in early May will reflect the conditions of January, February and March.
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Long-term Drought Status Update: October - December 2016
The La Niña conditions of cooler than normal sea surface temperatures in the Central Pacific Ocean did not develop this winter, and a return to the normal jet stream pattern was observed.
So far, this winter’s snowpack is above normal and the typical Arizona winter storms have returned. If that pattern continues through April, some of the long-term deficits of the past five years may be reduced, leading to improvements in drought conditions across Arizona.
However, early February will be dry and warm, similar to the dry and warm conditions of January last year. If this continues through the rest of the winter, most of the state may remain abnormally dry or in moderate drought conditions.
- NASA launches soil moisture mapping satellite 1/31/2015.