Quarterly Drought Status Update: JANUARY-MARCH 2022
Statewide precipitation for Water Year 2022 was below average at 3.78 inches at the end of March, a departure from the average precipitation of 6.32 inches. Northern Apache, central Navajo, and central Coconino counties, while still below average, received closer to normal amounts of precipitation. Statewide temperatures for Water Year 2022 were above average.
The long-term drought map is calculated from the average of 24-, 36-, and 48-month Standard Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) data. For the January to March long-term drought map, the time frames used in this calculation were noticeably less dry than longer-term time frames. Consequently, long-term drought appeared to improve in central and southern counties. Exceptional (D4) long-term drought persisted in small portions of Navajo and Coconino counties and in pockets of Mohave County. Most Severe (D2) long-term drought remained in Yuma County and central Maricopa County. Extreme (D3) long-term drought continued in La Paz, Mohave, Coconino, Navajo, Apache, and Greenlee counties.
La Niña conditions continue to linger but should slowly wane during the summer. There is a very slight shift in odds that the 2022 monsoon season could be wetter than average in the southeast part of the state.
This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, April 12, 2022. Arizona's long-term drought status map is updated quarterly and the next update in early July, it will reflect the conditions of April, May, and June. 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.