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.
Monthly Drought Status Summary: APRIL 2023
April was much drier than normal, with many locations across the state marking no measurable precipitation for the month. Slight amounts of precipitation were measured in some northern locations, like Flagstaff, Page, and Window Rock. Temperatures along the northern tier were slightly below average, while the rest of the state recorded average to above-average temperatures.
Short-term drought changed minimally in April, with modest improvement to Moderate (D1) drought, now found only in northwestern Mohave County (1% of state). Eighty-two percent of the state remained without short-term drought, while Abnormally Dry (D0) conditions persisted in most of Yuma and La Paz counties, western Maricopa and Mohave counties, and northern Coconino County (17% of state).
Development of El Niño conditions are likely (better than 60% chance) during the summer with odds increasing even higher in the fall months. As a result, there is a slight tilt in odds that monsoon rainfall will be below normal across the southern part of the state.
This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee on May 8, 2023. Arizona's short-term drought status map is updated during the first week of each month.
Quarterly Drought Status Update: JANUARY-MARCH 2023
From a very wet monsoon season in 2022, followed by a very wet winter into March 2023, long-term drought significantly improved across the state. Only a very small portion of northwest Yuma and southwest La Paz counties remained in Exceptional (D4) long-term drought. Extreme (D3) and Severe (D2) long-term drought continued largely in Yuma, La Paz, Mohave, Coconino, and Maricopa counties. Southern and eastern counties mostly removed long-term drought conditions, but small areas of central Navajo, northern Apache, eastern Yavapai, and western and northern Pima county continued Moderate (D1) long-term drought.
La Niña has ended in the tropical Pacific Ocean with a neutral state expected through the summer. No climate signals exist suggesting either a wetter or drier monsoon season this year. There is a 60% chance of El Niño developing in the fall/winter 2023-2024.
This report was prepared by the Arizona Drought Monitoring Technical Committee, April 14, 2023. 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.