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Drought Status

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Short-term Drought Status Summary for February 2017

The map to the left updates every Thursday. The summary below reflects changes during the month of February.

February was a relatively dry month across parts of the state bringing less than 50% of normal precipitation over the eastern third of Arizona and a few spots in northwest Arizona.

Much wetter than normal conditions were observed from southwest through central Arizona including Yuma, La Paz, Maricopa, Yavapai, and Coconino counties. This led to an improvement from Abnormally Dry (D0) to No Drought conditions in northern La Paz County.

January’s rain and snow led to a significant improvement in Arizona short-term drought conditions, but the warm temperatures and locally dry conditions through much of February have stalled that recovery. This month, a small area of moderate drought (D1) was brought back to southern Apache County where snowpack has lagged the rest of the state.

Though the precipitation at the end of February was welcomed, the forecasted warming trend at the beginning of March may quickly melt the snow and dry out the soil.

Prepared by the State Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, March 2, 2017.


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.

Click here if you would like to receive monthly drought status reports by email.


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.







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