PHOENIX — Arizona State University climatologist Randy Cerveny said the state has been in varying degrees of drought since 1997, but Arizona isn’t close to an extended water shortage yet.
“Normal droughts in the past century spanned about 20 years,” he said.
But the state has been through mega droughts before. Some lasted more than a century and there’s no guarantee that we’re not in the early stages of another mega drought.
“Whether this drought will be incredibly long remains to be seen,” Cerveny said. “We can’t see that far into the future. A long-term drought contributed to the fall of the early Native Americans civilizations in Arizona in the 1300s and 1500s.”
Another concern to Cerveny is Arizona’s continued population growth.
“That puts even greater demand on what rain and snowfall we do get,” he said. “Simply, we have so many more people and that water can only be stretched so far.”
Complicating the drought is the fact that Phoenix’s only winter rainfall came on March 1.
“That storm helped,” said Cerveny. “If we hadn’t received that storm we’d be in desperate shape. We went for 70 days without rain until then.”
The National Weather Service said if Phoenix doesn’t receive another drop of rain this winter, this will be the 26th driest winter in Valley history.
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever