Drought Information Statement
Issued by NWS Phoenix, AZ

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AXUS75 KPSR 201212
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AZZ020>028-CAZ030>033-201800-

DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE PHOENIX AZ
510 AM MST SUN APR 20 2014

...DROUGHT CONTINUES TO REMAIN NEARLY STEADY ACROSS THE REGION...

SYNOPSIS...

UNUSUALLY DRY CONDITIONS HAVE PERSISTED ACROSS THE REGION SINCE THE
MIDDLE OF MARCH AND NOW ENTERING THE TYPICAL DRY SPRING
SEASON...PRECIPITATION DEFICITS WILL LIKELY HOLD UNTIL THE ONSET OF
THE MONSOON. SNOWFALL OVER THE MOUNTAINS WHICH IS UTILIZED IN
REFILLING RESERVOIR LEVELS DURING THE SPRING HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY
SPARSE AND IS NOW NEARLY ENTIRELY MELTED AWAY. AS A RESULT...DROUGHT
CONDITIONS WHICH STARTED INCREASING IN JANUARY ARE NOW STEADY IN A
SEVERE TO EXTREME LEVEL...AND CONTINUE TO COVER MUCH OF CENTRAL
ARIZONA AND SOUTHEAST CALIFORNIA.

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 MUCH OF RIVERSIDE
AND IMPERIAL COUNTIES IN CALIFORNIA. THE LONGER TERM EFFECTS OF LAST
SUMMERS MONSOON RAINFALL HAS KEPT YUMA COUNTY IN ONLY ABNORMALLY DRY
CONDITIONS...WITH MODERATE DROUGHT CONDITIONS COVERING MUCH OF THE
LOWER COLORADO RIVER VALLEY AND ADJACENT LA PAZ COUNTY.
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 25% OF THE STATE WAS AT SUCH LEVELS.

NEUTRAL EL NINO/LA NINA CONDITIONS ARE OCCURRING AND WILL CONTINUE
AS SUCH THROUGH AT LEAST THE 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 SUMMER OR FALL SEASON...THOUGH THE INTENSITY
OF THIS POTENTIAL EL NINO CYCLE IS UNCERTAIN. ONLY MODERATE TO
STRONG EL NINO CYCLES TYPICALLY HAVE A PREDICTABLE WET SIGNAL FOR
THE SOUTHWEST UNITED STATES DURING THE FALL AND WINTER
SEASONS...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
WORSENED DURING THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR AFTER A PROMISING
START AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WINTER SEASON. 52% 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 45% SHORT OR
VERY 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 5
MONTHS HAVE CAUSED THESE NATIVE SMALL PLANTS AND GRASSES TO
DRY RAPIDLY. BOTH 10 HOUR AND 100 HOUR DEAD FUEL MOISTURE VALUES
HAVE FALLEN WELL BELOW 10%. THE AMOUNT OF AVAILABLE DRIED FUELS MAY
LEAD TO A POTENTIALLY ACTIVE FIRE SEASON THIS SPRING.



CLIMATE SUMMARY...

THE SEASONAL WATER YEAR (SINCE OCT 1ST) REMAINS DRIER THAN AVERAGE
ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA...DESPITE A GOOD START TO THE SEASON DURING
THE FALL. MOST OF THE OVERALL DEFICITS HAVE OCCURRED SINCE THE
BEGINNING OF THE CALENDAR YEAR...WITH MOST LOCATIONS HIGHLY UNLIKELY
TO REACH NEAR NORMAL LEVELS BEFORE THE MONSOON 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           1.67    0.18     3.57        47%       17TH
WICKENBURG AZ      3.97    0.80     7.01        57%       30TH
PHX SKY HARBOR AZ  3.81    0.99     5.16        74%       52ND
SCOTTSDALE AZ      3.83    0.75     6.82        56%       MSG
CASA GRANDE AZ     3.30    1.31     5.70        58%       23RD
YUMA AZ            1.18    0.07     2.15        55%       45TH
BLYTHE CA          0.88    0.11     2.56        34%       15TH
TUCSON AZ          3.64    0.59     5.16        71%       42ND
FLAGSTAFF AZ       6.05    2.19    12.45        49%       12TH




PRECIPITATION/TEMPERATURE OUTLOOK...

THE APPROXIMATE PROBABILITY VALUES FOR ABOVE...NEAR OR BELOW NORMAL
TEMPERATURES AND PRECIPITATION FOR MAY AND THE THREE MONTH PERIOD OF
MAY-JUNE-JULY 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 MAY...AS WELL AS DURING THE 3-MONTH PERIOD OF
MAY-JUN-JUL. PRECIPITATION TOTALS FOR THE MONTH OF MAY AS WELL AS
THE 3 MONTH PERIOD OF MAY-JUN-JUL 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
MAY 2014.....................   52 / 33 / 15        33 / 33 / 33
MAY-JUN-JUL 2014.............   48 / 32 / 20        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 HAVE NOW FALLEN BEHIND
THOSE OF THE PAST 2 YEARS DUE TO LACK OF SNOW WATER RUNOFF. IT IS
HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT ADDITIONAL PRECIPITATION THE REMAINDER OF THIS
SPRING SEASON WILL HAVE ANY EFFECT ON RESERVOIR LEVELS. DRAW DOWNS
ON RESERVOIR LEVELS WILL BEGIN OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS DURING A
HIGHER DEMAND TIME OF YEAR.

               04/18/14     04/18/13     04/18/12
               --------     --------     --------
ROOSEVELT         50           54           66
HORSE MESA        93           91           93
MORMON FLAT       98           98           95
STEWARD MTN       93           94           93
  TOTAL SALT      58           61           71

HORSESHOE         62           32            1
BARTLETT          36           99           47
  TOTAL VERDE     46           74           29

  TOTAL SYSTEM    57           63           66


NEXT ISSUANCE DATE...

THIS DROUGHT INFORMATION STATEMENT WILL BE UPDATED ON OR AROUND MAY
15TH.

&&

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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