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Most Of Arizona Is In A Drought

Phoenix just experienced one of the hottest Thanksgivings on record, and high temperatures across the state are exacerbating another issue: drought.

Unless you’re in the northwestern corner of the state, if you’re living in Arizona, you’re living in a drought.

Jessica Nolte is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix. She says the hardest hit areas are in the central and southern parts of the state. And she says the dry conditions go far beyond Arizona’s boundaries.

“The drought extends up into Utah, and maybe the western portions of Colorado and New Mexico, and even into Southern California, as well,” Nolte said.

On Friday, Albuquerque had its 50th consecutive day without any recorded rain.

On positive note, Nolte said that Arizona’s drought conditions are actually slightly better than in years past — thanks to a very wet monsoon a few years back. But she said it would take several wet seasons to make a big change in conditions.

You can check the status of the drought across the country, and even search by ZIP code, at drought.gov.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.