Weekly Map - Drought Conditions
The Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee confers weekly to advise the U.S. Drought Monitor authors on the current drought 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 web page automatically updates with the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map of Arizona.
Short-term Drought Conditions
Monthly Drought Status Summary: January 2024
Southern and eastern counties received above average precipitation in January, while central counties received near to below average precipitation. Statewide, January was the 51st warmest January (since 1895), with Coconino (33rd warmest) and Navajo (32nd warmest) counties well above average. The total Salt-Verde reservoir system was 81% full at the end of January. Snow water equivalent in the Lower Colorado basin was 69% of median; Verde basin was 58% of median; Salt basin was 71% of median.
Moderate (D1) short-term drought expanded into northern Mohave and Yavapai counties, and southern Coconino county (35% of state). Severe (D2) short-term drought improved in Gila, Pinal, Maricopa, and Graham counties (21% of state). Extreme (D3) short-term drought retreated to only 2% of state, remaining in eastern Cochise and small areas of southeastern Graham and southern Greenlee counties. The remaining 42% of the state was Abnormally Dry (D0) or without drought.
El Nino has essentially peaked in intensity with weakening expected through the spring and neutral conditions quickly becoming likely. As a result, there is no shift in precipitation odds through the spring and summer. There is better than a 50/50 chance of La Nina materializing next winter which could favor drier than normal conditions during the beginning of Water Year 2024-25.
This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee on February 15, 2024. Arizona's short-term drought status map is updated during the first week of each month.
Long-term Drought Conditions
Quarterly Drought Status Update: OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2023
Arizona experienced its 5th warmest and 26th driest October to December (since 1895). Exceptional (D4) long-term drought expanded in Maricopa and east-central Coconino counties, while continuing in areas of La Paz and Pima counties. Extreme (D3) long-term drought increased in Mohave, Maricopa, and portions of Coconino, Yavapai, Pinal, and Pima counties. Severe (D2) long-term drought escalated in Mohave, La Paz, Pinal, Pima, and Coconino counties, as well as portions along the Mogollon Rim to the White Mountains. Moderate (D1) long-term drought developed in Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Apache, and Cochise counties. Portions of northern and southeastern counties continued supporting small areas of Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions or no long-term drought.
A strong El Nino is currently reaching its peak with better than a 70% chance of neutral conditions developing by the middle of the spring. As a result, there is only a slight chance precipitation amounts will be in an above normal category over the next couple of months with no tilt in odds beyond that time.
This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, January 17, 2024. Arizona's long-term drought status map is updated quarterly and the next update in early December, it will reflect the conditions of January, February, and March. The long-term drought status for each watershed is determined by comparing the precipitation and streamflow percentiles for the past 24, 36, 48 and 60 months to a 40-year historical record.