Drought conditions have returned to Arizona.
Our lack of monsoon rainfall and now lack of winter storms is leading us back into extreme drought conditions.
According to the latest drought map from the United States Drought Monitor, most of Arizona is in the moderate to the severe category with three spots in the "extreme" category.
Compare that to this same time last year where most of the state was not in a drought. Not at all. This is partly because we had such a wet 2016 monsoon and snow season. Our snowpack was high, which led to our reserves and canals being full and at a high level.
Most of 2017 and into 2018 has been dry, with very little snow for our mountains. Rainfall for January and February was over half an inch below normal. As far as snowfall, it is several inches below normal.
Unfortunately, the three-month outlook isn’t very promising. Which is also why the fear of wildfires around the state is high this year.
The Climate Prediction Center shows our afternoon temperatures to be 50 percent above normal with our rainfall at a 40 percent probability of below normal through May.
Maps from the National Drought Monitor website show the difference between February 2017 and February 2018. You can also scroll month by month to see how our drought has progressed over the past year. Also take note of California as well.
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