PHOENIX — Drought conditions have expanded across Arizona as our lack of monsoon rain continues.
The latest drought update released on Thursday by the United States Drought Monitor shows that nearly 82% of Arizona is now experiencing some level of drought.
Most of the state is either under a moderate or severe drought, which includes the entire Phoenix Metro Area.
By comparison, last week's update only had about 47% of the state under a drought designation.
Three months ago, in early May, most of Arizona was drought-free.
We have seen this significant increase in drought conditions partly due to the lack of monsoon rains. So far this monsoon, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has only picked up a tenth of an inch of rainfall.
On average, the monsoon brings 2.71 inches of rain, which is about a third of our yearly rainfall.
This year's lack of monsoon rain has also increased our rain deficit for the year. So far this year we have measured 3.65 inches of rain at Phoenix Sky Harbor, which is 0.81 inches below normal.
It's likely our drought conditions will continue to worsen as our forecast looks to stay dry through at least the middle of next week.