According to precipitation and streamflow data collected in the State, Arizona experienced one of the driest periods on record from January 1 to June 30, 1996. During this period, Arizona averaged less than -4.5 on the Palmer Drought Index (PDI); a widely used index that compares monthly rainfall to soil moisture for a given area. PDI values less than -4.0 indicate extreme drought conditions. PDI values for Arizona have ranged from less than -5 to greater than 7 since 1895. Governor Fife Symington declared a state of emergency for Arizona on May 3, 1996, because of the extremely dry conditions.
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USGS Numbered Series
Precipitation and streamflow conditions in Arizona, winter and spring, 1996