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Climate data shows 2017 was warmest year ever on record in Arizona

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Annual climate data provided by the National Centers for Environmental Information showed 2017 was the warmest year on record for Arizona.

The data also showed it was the 18th driest year for the state.

According to Mark O’Malley with the National Weather Service, the entire state of Arizona was officially in a moderate drought, with some patches across the state in severe drought.

O’Malley said this was because there have only been a couple of storm systems in the state since the monsoon season ended — and the monsoon season ended early last year.

“There has only been one-tenth to a quarter-inch of rain in metro Phoenix,” he said. “We have not seen a lot of rain in four months now.”

Five states in total had there warmest climate on record in 2017 — Arizona, New Mexico, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

This data comes just as rain hit the Valley and most of the state’s high country received its first snowfall of the season. However, the forecast for the rest of the week is supposed to be clear and warm.

O’Malley said that Arizona needs to see an uptick in rainfall soon or the situation will become more serious.

“If there is no rain or snow in the next couple of weeks, the drought will become worse. We’ll see what happens in the spring.”

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