Quarterly Drought Status Update: OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2021
Long-term drought saw little improvement since the start of Water Year 2022. Since October, much of the state received near to slightly above-normal amounts of precipitation, while southeastern locations received below-average amounts of precipitation. Temperatures across the state were warmer than normal October through December, which affected evapotranspiration rates and ultimately, long-term drought conditions.
Small improvements from Extreme (D3) to Severe (D2) long-term drought occurred in northeastern Mohave and western Apache counties, while slight expansion of Extreme (D3) long-term drought occurred in eastern Pima, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties. Exceptional (D4) long-term drought remained in central Mohave, eastern Coconino, western and central Navajo, and eastern Apache counties, although there was some improvement in these locations to Extreme (D3) long-term drought. Exceptional (D4) long-term drought slightly expanded in Greenlee and Graham counties. Weak to moderate La Niña will persist through the remainder of the winter before trending towards neutral later in the spring. As a result, the greatest odds are for drier than average conditions in Arizona through the spring.
This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, January 11, 2022. Arizona's long-term drought status map is updated quarterly and the next update in early April, 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.