Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee

The State Drought Monitoring Technical Committee (MTC) 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.


Erinanne Saffell, State Climatologist, Arizona State University,

Mark O'Malley, Lead Forecaster, National Weather Service- Central Arizona (Phoenix Office),



Maggie Martin, Arizona Drought Program Coordinator, Arizona Department of Water Resources,



Mike Crimmins, Associate Professor & Extension Specialist on Climate Science, University of Arizona,

Charlie Ester, Water Resource Operation Manager, Salt River Project,

Dan Ferguson, CLIMAS Director,

Gregg Garfin, Deputy Director for Science Translation and Outreach, Institute of the Environment, University of Arizona,

Kenneth Gishi, Water Supply Specialist, Natural Resources Conservation Service,

John Riggins, Statewide Planning Manager, Arizona Department of Water Resources,

Ryan Hunt, GIS & Conservation Specialist, Farm Service Agency,

Andrew Muniz, Hydrologist, Arizona Department of Water Resources,

Brian Klimowski, National Weather Service, Northern Arizona (Flagstaff Office),

James Meza, Water Resource Specialist, Arizona State Parks,

Kurt Schonauer, Hydrologist & Field Office Chief, U.S. Geological Survey- Arizona Water Science Center,

Chris Smith, Data Chief, U.S. Geological Survey- Arizona Water Science Center,

Carlee McClellan, Senior Hydrologist, Navajo Department of Water Resources,

Alyssa McAlexander, Forest Health Specialist, Department of Forestry and Fire Management,

Communicating Drought Status

The MTC and ADWR coordinate to improve the accessibility to drought information by resource managers, state decision-makers and the public. To further communication, information is updated on the ADWR Drought Status webpage on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis as follows:

Weekly - The MTC confers weekly to advise the U.S. Drought Monitor authors on the current conditions in Arizona, and makes recommendations about the position of the drought boundaries for Arizona. The U.S. Drought Monitor is the official record of drought for Federal drought relief claims. Information used by the MTC in advising the Drought Monitor authors includes numerous drought indices, precipitation and stream flow data, and impacts data. Every Thursday, the Drought Status webpage automatically updates with the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map of Arizona.

Monthly - At the end of each month, the MTC produces a web-based, short-term drought status update based on U.S. Drought Monitor’s maps for the past four weeks. An email with the latest map and summary is sent to interested parties.

Quarterly - The MTC meets on a quarterly basis and produces a long-term drought status map and summary report. This report incorporates the 24-, 36- and 48-month precipitation and streamflow percentiles for major Arizona watersheds (i.e., 4-digit U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC)). Vegetation indices, snowpack, temperature, reservoir levels, and county-scale drought impact information are used to verify or modify the result of the calculations. The long-term drought status reports are posted on the ADWR website and disseminated via email seasonally:  in May (for January – March), August (for April – June), November (for July – September) and February (for October – December.)

The monthly and quarterly reports serve as an information resource for the public and as a planning tool for resource managers developing mitigation and response strategies. Contact us to receive drought status updates by email.