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Drought Status

View Arizona's drought status

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Short-term Drought Status Summary  

Note: The map to the left updates automatically on a weekly basis.

The following drought status summary for August and September 2014 reflects the changes as of the September 30, 2014 Drought Monitor.

Since early August, there has been significant improvement in the short term drought due to extremely heavy monsoon precipitation, enhanced by moisture primarily from a series of tropical storms. Copious rainfall in central and southern Arizona in August and early and mid-September reduced precipitation deficits. At the end of September, a strong cold front combined with tropical moisture brought widespread rainfall to all areas except the southeast.

While much of the intense storm activity resulted in some flash flooding and heavy run-off, benefits of the rainfall include flowing streams and rivers, high soil moisture and an increase in vegetative greenness.


This report was produced by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, October 3, 2014. The Monitoring Technical Committee confers weekly to advise the U.S. Drought Monitor authors on the current conditions in Arizona. The U.S. Drought Monitor is the official record of drought for Federal drought relief claims. At the end of each month, the Monitoring Technical Committee produces the short-term drought status summary above, based on U.S. Drought Monitor maps for the past four weeks.





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Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee

The Monitoring Technical Committee is responsible for gathering data about Arizona drought, climate, and weather; producing drought status reports; and disseminating that information to land managers, policy-makers, and the public.

Co Chairs:

Nancy Selover, Arizona State University,

Mark O'Malley, National Weather Service,


Mike Crimmins, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, 

Charlie Ester, Salt River Project, 

Dino DeSimone, Natural Resources Conservation Service, 

Gregg Garfin, University of Arizona - Institute for the Study of Planet Earth 

Paul Culberson, Arizona Division of Emergency Management 

Chris Smith, U.S. Geological Survey,

Long-term Drought Status Update: April - June 2014

Spring was typically dry across the state, and all watersheds except the lower Colorado River saw no change in their long-term drought status. The lower Colorado River watershed dropped from no drought to abnormally dry.

Even though dry conditions are normal for spring, the deficits are mounting. BLM observations include dirt tanks going dry earlier than usual, a decrease in perennial grasses not related to grazing, and die back of creosote bush and ironweed trees in the southeastern part of the state. State parks report low lake levels at Lyman Lake, Fool Hollow, Patagonia Lake and Alamo Lake.  

Further degradation is likely unless the monsoon precipitation meets or exceeds the long term average.

The next update in early November will reflect the monsoon conditions of July, August and September.

Posted August 8, 2014

The Monitoring Technical Committee meets quarterly to discuss drought conditions throughout the state and produce the long-term drought status map.  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.


Method for Determining Long-term Drought Status

Method for Determining Drought Categories

When Adjacent Watersheds Differ by Two or More Categories




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