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Drought Status

View Arizona's drought status

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Short-term Drought Status Summary for March 2016

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

The dryness from February continued unabated through March, moving much of the state from no drought or abnormally dry (D0) conditions to moderate drought (D1).

At the end of February 31% of the state had no drought, but by the end of March only 2.5% had no drought. Abnormally dry (D0) or worse conditions jumped from 69% at the end of February to 98% at the end of March, while moderate drought (D1) jumped from 16% to 54% during the month of March. Moderate drought covers most of central Arizona as well as along the eastern and western state borders, including most of the Mogollon Rim and the White Mountains where our snowpack has virtually disappeared.

We are now moving into the dry spring season, and fire danger will be increasing as the early winter precipitation and the recent warm temperatures have increased the fire danger in both the grasslands and the forests.

Prepared by the State Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, April 4, 2016.


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, January 28, 2016. 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 2015

Early winter precipitation occurred in some parts of the state, but has not resulted in sufficient accumulation to warrant long-term drought improvement.

While streamflow is near normal in some areas, it is below average in many parts of the state, and snow pack is not sufficient to indicate improvement in water resources.

Aquifer recharge is slow across much of Arizona and groundwater resources will be reassessed in spring after the snowmelt has begun.



  • NASA launches soil moisture mapping satellite 1/31/2015.