Entering April EXTREME to EXCEPTIONAL drought is affecting Arizona to the southwest Great Plains and strengthening. A large area of MODERATE to SEVERE drought surrounds this area and includes California and the 4 Corners States plus western Texas to eastern Kansas. The area is the first of the warm season in 2018 susceptible to anomalous heat and that heat is already occurring.
Phoenix reached 100 yesterday, the 4th earliest 100 on record. Phoenix is currently +9.2F for the month. Most of the Southwest Drought area is very warm and as the record cold Central/East U.S. thermal pattern fades the Southwest anomalous heat will make gains and expand rapidly across the drought area which is also likely to widen.