Ninety-nine percent of Arizona remains under some level of drought, but our recent monsoon rains have brought some improvement.
The U.S. Drought Monitor released the latest drought update on Thursday and we have seen some minor improvement across Arizona.
Approximately 36% of the state is experiencing an Exceptional drought, which is the worst level. That’s a drop from the 58% coverage we’ve seen for the past several months.
That also means the Phoenix Metro Area is now at Extreme drought levels, which is one level below an Exceptional drought.
While this improvement is minimal and we still have a long way to go, we have our recent monsoon rains to thank for the change.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has picked up 0.54 inches of rain so far this monsoon, while the Phoenix Metro Area as a whole has seen approximately 0.83 inches of rain since June.
Flagstaff has measured 1.86 inches of rain so far this monsoon, while Tucson sits at 1.92 inches for the season so far.
With more monsoon rain in the forecast, it’s possible we could see further improvement to our ongoing drought conditions across Arizona. However, we know that winter precipitation is necessary to bring more long-term relief as snowmelt can help alleviate the drought and replenish our reservoirs.