Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Phoenix, AZ

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AXUS75 KPSR 220200
DGTPSR
AZZ020>028-CAZ030>033-221800-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PHOENIX AZ
700 PM MST FRI MAR 21 2014

...DROUGHT REMAINING NEARLY STEADY ACROSS THE REGION...

SYNOPSIS...

DURING A TYPICALLY WETTER PERIOD FOR THE REGION...ESPECIALLY
ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTHERN AND EASTERN ARIZONA...ONLY 2 LARGER
STORM SYSTEMS HAVE PROVIDED BENEFICIAL RAIN AND SNOW. SNOWFALL OVER
THE MOUNTAINS WHICH IS UTILIZED IN REFILLING RESERVOIR LEVELS DURING
THE SPRING HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY SPARSE. BUT EVEN PRECIPITATION
DEFICITS AT LOWER ELEVATION ARE NOW GROWING APPRECIABLY...AND IT
APPEARS UNLIKELY THAT RECOVERY TO NEAR NORMAL LEVELS WILL OCCUR
BEFORE THE DRY SPRING SEASON. AS A RESULT...DROUGHT CONDITIONS WHICH
STARTED INCREASING IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY ARE NOW STEADY IN A
SEVERE TO EXTREME LEVEL...AND CONTINUE TO COVER MUCH OF CENTRAL
ARIZONA ONCE AGAIN.

EXTREME DROUGHT REMAINS ACROSS FAR SOUTHEASTERN PINAL AND SOUTHERN
GILA COUNTY. SEVERE DROUGHT ENCOMPASSES THE REMAINDER OF WESTERN
PINAL COUNTY...AS WELL AS EASTERN MARICOPA COUNTY AND MUCH OF
CENTRAL GILA COUNTY. SEVERE DROUGHT ALSO COVERS PART OF
CENTRAL RIVERSIDE COUNTY...AND WESTERN IMPERIAL COUNT IN CALIFORNIA.
THE LONG TERM EFFECT OF LAST SUMMERS MONSOON RAINFALL HAS KEPT YUMA
COUNTY WITHOUT A DROUGHT DESIGNATION...WHILE ABNORMALLY DRY
CONDITIONS TO MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS COVER THE REMAINDER OF
SOUTHWEST MARICOPA COUNTY...LA PAZ COUNTIES IN WESTERN ARIZONA...AND
EASTERN IMPERIAL AND RIVERSIDE COUNTIES IN SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA.
CURRENTLY...AROUND 57% OF THE STATE OF ARIZONA IS AT SEVERE DROUGHT
LEVELS OR WORSE...WHICH IS A SIGNIFICANT DETERIORATION AS COMPARED
TO 3 MONTHS AGO WHEN ONLY 16% OF THE STATE WAS AT SUCH LEVELS.

NEUTRAL EL NINO/LA NINA CONDITIONS ARE OCCURRING AND WILL CONTINUE
AS SUCH THROUGH AT LEAST THE SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER SEASON.
THUS...THERE WOULD BE NO PREDICTABLE INFLUENCE ON THE OVERALL
WEATHER PATTERN FROM ANY EL NINO/LA NINA PATTERN. THERE IS A 60%
CHANCE EL NINO CONDITIONS WILL DEVELOP DURING THE LATE SUMMER OR
FALL SEASON...THOUGH THE INTENSITY OF THIS POTENTIAL EL NINO CYCLE
IS VERY UNCERTAIN (SHOULD IT EVEN OCCUR). ONLY MODERATE TO STRONG EL
NINO CYCLES TYPICALLY HAVE A PREDICTABLE WET SIGNAL FOR THE
SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES...WITH LITTLE INFLUENCE FROM WEAK EL NINO
EPISODES.


SUMMARY OF IMPACTS...

WITH OVER THREE YEARS OF DRIER THAN AVERAGE CONDITIONS...IMPACTS
HAVE INCLUDED PERIODIC WATER HAULING NECESSARY FOR FARMERS AND
RANCHERS...DISTRESSED VEGETATION AND LOSS OF FORAGE ACREAGE.
LIVESTOCK ON REGIONAL RANCHES HAVE SUFFERED THE GREATEST IMPACTS
FROM DROUGHT CONDITIONS. RANGE LAND AND PASTURE CONDITIONS HAVE
WORSENED SUBSTANTIALLY IN THE PAST COUPLE MONTHS AFTER A PROMISING
START AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WINTER SEASON. 58% OF THE AREA PASTURE
LAND IS RATED AS POOR OR VERY POOR VERSUS JUST 34% AT THE BEGINNING
OF DECEMBER...WHILE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS REPORTED AS 43% SHORT.

WITH GENERALLY GOOD MONSOON RAINFALL LAST SUMMER AND SUFFICIENTLY
WET CONDITIONS DURING THE AUTUMN AND LATE WINTER...NATIVE
GRASSES...SMALL PLANTS...AND TREES EXPERIENCED GOOD GROWTH.
HOWEVER...ABNORMALLY DRY AND WARM CONDITIONS DURING THE PAST 4
MONTHS HAVE CAUSED THESE NATIVE SMALL PLANTS AND GRASSES TO BEGIN
DRYING RAPIDLY. SEVERAL SMALL WILDFIRES HAVE BEEN REPORTED IN THE
PAST FEW MONTHS WITH 10 HOUR AND 100 HOUR DEAD FUEL MOISTURE VALUES
FALLING WELL BELOW 10%. THE AMOUNT OF AVAILABLE DRIED FUELS MAY LEAD
TO AN EARLY...AND POTENTIALLY ACTIVE FIRE SEASON LATER THIS SPRING.



CLIMATE SUMMARY...

THE SEASONAL WATER YEAR (SINCE OCT 1ST) HAS BECOME DRIER THAN
AVERAGE ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA...DESPITE A GOOD START DURING THE
FALL. MOST OF THE OVERALL DEFICITS HAVE OCCURRED IN THE PAST 3
MONTHS...WITH MOST LOCATIONS UNLIKELY TO REACH BACK TO NORMAL
BEFORE THE DRY SPRING SEASON. BELOW IS A LISTING OF STATIONS AND
PRECIPITATION RECORDED SINCE OCTOBER 1 2013 AND JANUARY 1 2014. ALSO
INCLUDED ARE NORMAL PRECIPITATION TOTALS...PERCENT OF NORMAL...AND
SEASONAL HISTORICAL RANKINGS (PLEASE NOTE SOME STATIONS HAVE A MORE
LIMITED HISTORY WITH RANKING NUMBERS NOT AS SIGNIFICANT).


                   SINCE   SINCE    SINCE     PERCENT     RANK
                   OCT 1   JAN 1    OCT 1    OF NORMAL    DRIEST
                   2013    2014     NORMAL
BOUSE AZ           1.66    0.17     3.27        51%       21ST
WICKENBURG AZ      3.97    0.80     6.34        63%       42ND
PHX SKY HARBOR AZ  3.81    0.99     4.64        82%       61ST
SCOTTSDALE AZ      3.82    0.74     6.08        63%       MSG
CASA GRANDE AZ     3.30    1.31     5.07        65%       32ND
YUMA AZ            1.18    0.07     1.92        61%       51ST
BLYTHE CA          0.88    0.11     2.37        37%       17TH
TUCSON AZ          3.64    0.58     4.67        78%       53RD
FLAGSTAFF AZ       5.60    1.74    10.90        51%       17TH




PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE APPROXIMATE PROBABILITY VALUES FOR ABOVE...NEAR OR BELOW NORMAL
TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION FOR APRIL AND THE THREE MONTH PERIOD
OF APRIL-MAY-JUNE ARE GIVEN BELOW VALID FOR SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA
AND SOUTHWEST AND SOUTH-CENTRAL ARIZONA. THESE NUMBERS ARE DERIVED
FROM OUTLOOKS ISSUED BY THE NOAA CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER AND ARE
ACCESSIBLE THROUGH THEIR WEBSITE LISTED BELOW. THE TEMPERATURE
OUTLOOK CORRESPONDS TO THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE DURING THE ENTIRE
THREE MONTH PERIOD...WHILE THE PRECIPITATION OUTLOOK IS FOR THE
TOTAL PRECIPITATION DURING THE ENTIRE THREE MONTH PERIOD.

TEMPERATURES HAVE A MUCH BETTER CHANCE OF BEING ABOVE NORMAL DURING
THE MONTH OF APRIL...AS WELL AS DURING THE 3-MONTH PERIOD OF
APR-MAY-JUN. PRECIPITATION TOTALS FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL AS WELL AS
THE 3 MONTH PERIOD OF APR-MAY-JUN HAVE APPROXIMATELY AN EQUAL CHANCE
OF FALLING IN THE ABOVE...BELOW...OR NEAR NORMAL CATEGORY.

                               TEMPERATURE         PRECIPITATION
                               PROBABILITY          PROBABILITY
                             ABOVE/NEAR/BELOW     ABOVE/NEAR/BELOW
                                  NORMAL               NORMAL
APRIL 2014...................   54 / 33 / 13        33 / 33 / 33
APR-MAY-JUN 2014.............   53 / 30 / 17        33 / 33 / 33


HYDROLOGIC SUMMARY AND OUTLOOK...

RESERVOIR LEVELS HAVE HELD NEARLY STEADY THROUGHOUT THE WINTER SEASON
WITH LOWER DEMAND. RAIN AND SNOW DURING THE EARLY FALL SEASON WERE
SETTING THE STAGE FOR ADEQUATE FILLING OF RESERVOIRS...HOWEVER A
SUBSTANTIAL LACK OF RAIN AND MOUNTAIN SNOWS IN THE PAST SEVERAL
MONTHS HAS HALTED ANY THOUGHTS OF GOOD RUNOFF THIS SPRING.

RESERVOIR LEVELS AT THIS POINT OF THE YEAR ARE VERY COMPARABLE TO
THOSE OF LAST YEAR. HOWEVER...THE AMOUNT OF SNOW PACK IN THE
MOUNTAINS ABOVE THE RESERVOIRS IS FAR LESS THAN LAST YEAR...AND IT
IS UNLIKELY THAT ADDITIONAL PRECIPITATION THE REMAINDER OF THIS
WINTER SEASON WILL HAVE A SIZABLE EFFECT ON RESERVOIR LEVELS BEFORE
THE DRY SPRING SEASON.

               03/20/14     03/20/13     03/20/12
               --------     --------     --------
ROOSEVELT         50           51           67
HORSE MESA        95           92           92
MORMON FLAT       95           96           95
STEWARD MTN       92           96           95
  TOTAL SALT      58           59           72

HORSESHOE         56           57            0
BARTLETT          49           94           39
  TOTAL VERDE     51           80           24

  TOTAL SYSTEM    57           62           66


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

THIS DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED ON OR AROUND
APRIL 19TH.

&&

RELATED WEBSITES...

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING WEB SITES:

NWS FORECAST OFFICE PHOENIX...WEATHER.GOV/PHOENIX
NATIONAL INTEGRATED DROUGHT INFORMATION SYSTEM...DROUGHT.GOV
U.S. DROUGHT MONITOR...DROUGHT.UNL.EDU/DM/MONITOR.HTML
NWS CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER...WWW.CPC.NCEP.NOAA.GOV
ARIZONA STATE CLIMATE OFFICE...AZCLIMATE.ASU.EDU
ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF WATER RESOURCES DROUGHT PROGRAM...
  AZWATER.GOV/AZDWR/STATEWIDEPLANNING/DROUGHT
WESTERN REGIONAL CLIMATE CENTER...WRCC.DRI.EDU
USGS WATER RESOURCES OF THE UNITED STATES...WATER.USGS.GOV

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...

INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THIS STATEMENT WAS COMPILED FROM VARIOUS
FEDERAL...STATE...AND LOCAL AGENCIES.

QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...

IF YOU HAVE  ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS...PLEASE CONTACT:

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE - PHOENIX
PO BOX 52025
PHOENIX AZ 85072
602-275-0073
W-PSR.WEBMASTER@NOAA.GOV

$$







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