Arizona drought expected to worsen over next few months

Posted: Updated:
Arizona has had an incredibly dry winter and conditions show the drought is back. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arizona has had an incredibly dry winter and conditions show the drought is back. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A prediction map shows a brown area that covers all of Arizona and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico, showing these areas to have a higher chance of below average precipitation. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A prediction map shows a brown area that covers all of Arizona and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico, showing these areas to have a higher chance of below average precipitation. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
History shows there is a correlation between drought and powerful dust storms. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) History shows there is a correlation between drought and powerful dust storms. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, our meager snowfall has ranked the past year right up there with our driest years 2000 and 2006. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, our meager snowfall has ranked the past year right up there with our driest years 2000 and 2006. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

"On this map, orange indicates D2 or serve drought and the bad news, we are even starting to see some in the red which means extreme areas," said Ken Water of the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

Arizona has had an incredibly dry winter. Conditions show the drought is back.

[RELATED: Drought conditions have returned to Arizona]

"If we go back and look at the last six months or so we'll see we are way, way below average," said Waters.

Figures show we're 30 percent below normal precipitation and it's not just our rainfall.

"Snowpack across Arizona has been extremely low this year, too," said Waters.

The snowpack provides a refresh to our water table and reservoirs that supply water to Phoenix. We do have plenty of water storage but the drought is putting a stress on that supply.

[RELATED: Weather service: Drought conditions visible across Arizona]

According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, our meager snowfall has ranked the past year right up there with our driest years 2000 and 2006.

"Really bad news is the bulls-eye is kinda concentrated right over Arizona," said Waters.

[RELATED: Drought worsens with dry October]

Waters is referring to the current prediction map for Arizona for the month of March. It shows a brown area that covers all of Arizona and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and New Mexico, showing these areas to have a higher chance of below average precipitation.

And our current weather pattern predictions beyond March are showing the worst possible scenarios.

"All signals are pretty much pointing to a very dry condition right up until monsoon," said Waters.

And history shows there is a correlation between drought and powerful dust storms.

"We tend to get more dust storms after a prolong drought period," said Waters.

When we look at weather patterns for winter of 2018, we look for El Niño and La Niña. Right now, it looks neutral but is leaning towards La Niña, which would mean another dry winter for Arizona.  

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Ashlee DeMartinoAshlee DeMartino is excited to finally be back in her hometown of Phoenix.

Click to learn more about Ashlee.

Ashlee DeMartino
Weekend Weather Anchor

An award-winning journalist, Ashlee has worn many hats in her career, one-woman-band, executive producer, anchor, reporter and morning traffic reporter. However, her main focus and passion is weather.

As a Weather Anchor Ashlee has seen the power and destruction of mother-nature up close and personal, reporting on ravaging wildfires, devastating floods, 100 car pile ups in the fog and the rare snow and ice storm on the Las Vegas Strip.

Ashlee graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and is currently enrolled at Mississippi State University in the Geosciences program finishing her degree in Meteorology.

Fun Facts About Ashlee

  • Former Arizona Cardinals Cheerleader
  • Worked for Mattel as Barbie
  • Dancing with the Las Vegas Stars Champion
  • World Traveler
  • Wine and Chocolate connoisseur…never met a carb she didn’t like
  • Cat named Tino

Hide bio