Quarterly Drought Status Update: JULY-SEPTEMBER 2021
Long-term drought was slightly mitigated following an average to above-average monsoon season for many portions of the state. Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal counties received over 200% of average July-September precipitation. However, areas along the Colorado River, northwestern La Paz and southwestern Mohave counties experienced below-average precipitation during this period, as did central Navajo County and portions of Apache County.
Exceptional (D4) long-term drought remained in central Mohave County, eastern Coconino County, western and central Navajo County, and eastern Apache County. Portions of Maricopa, Pinal, Graham, and Greenlee counties saw improvement to Severe (D2) long-term drought. Additionally, areas along the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains, and the majority of Yuma, Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties largely improved to Severe (D2) and even Moderate (D1) long-term drought.
La Niña conditions have developed in the Pacific Ocean and are expected to continue through winter. La Niña in the Southwest results in greater odds that the winter ends up drier than average.
This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, October 15, 2021. Arizona's long-term drought status map is updated quarterly and the next update in early January, it will reflect the conditions of October, November, and December. 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.