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, November 7, 2016. The next update in early February will reflect the conditions of October, November and December.
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Long-term Drought Status Update: July - September 2016
While El Niño was very strong, as measured by sea surface temperatures, the atmospheric circulation, which typically brings these strong winter storms into Arizona, did not develop. From January through March, these storm systems stayed mostly north of Arizona.
Flagstaff received near average precipitation over the winter, but the White Mountains, central, and southern Arizona were drier than normal.
The monsoon brought much needed rainfall to southeastern Arizona, however the precipitation did not make up the long-term moisture deficit. Therefore, there is no change to the long-term drought status.
- NASA launches soil moisture mapping satellite 1/31/2015.