Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Site Section
News & Events

Southwest Drought Briefing: February 23, 2022

Event Date
February 23, 2022
Event Time
1:00 pm - 1:35 pm

The most recent U.S. Drought Monitor indicates that much of the Southwest is experiencing some level of drought. Following a fairly dismal November, a wet December, and a dry January, so far February has had a few good precipitation events. How will this winter's precipitation impact the long-term drought conditions in the Southwest? This short drought briefing focused on winter drought conditions and forecasts for Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. 

For more information, please contact Joel Lisonbee (


Welcome to the Southwest Drought Update

Speaker: Emile Elias | USDA Southwest Climate Hub

  • Welcome to the February 2022 Southwest Drought Briefing. These half-hour webinars will be held monthly for as long as this region is experiencing extreme and exceptional drought conditions.
  • Acknowledgment of land.
  • Learn more about the Southwest Drought Learning Network.
  • View past webinar recordings at
  • Introduction of the speakers:
    • Deb Bathke, National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska
    • Kelly Smith, National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska



Drought & Climate Update

Speaker: Deb Bathke | National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska

  • Drought conditions in the Southwest U.S. have improved, but extreme (D3) and exceptional (D4) drought conditions remain.
  • After a snowy December, a persistent blocking high pressure system has created abnormally dry conditions for the Southwest during January and February.
  • Over the last three months, eastern New Mexico has seen the most degradation in drought conditions.
  • Drought outlooks show drought is expected to persist across the Southwest.



Condition Monitoring Observer Reports (CMOR)

Speaker: Kelly Smith | National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska

  • The Condition Monitoring Observer Reports (CMOR) tool allows anyone to log drought impacts.
  • This data is used to help contextualize drought data, including by providing:
    • Information on forage conditions
    • Impacts to specific industries
    • Photographs that provide a visual record of landscape changes.
  • Submit a drought report here:



Questions & Answers

Speaker: Joel Lisonbee | NOAA/National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS), Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)