Arizona could possibly be in a ‘mega drought,’ expert says

Jun 27, 2018, 6:35 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2018, 10:08 am
FILE - In this July 28, 2014 file photo, lightning strikes over Lake Mead near Hoover Dam at the La...

FILE - In this July 28, 2014 file photo, lightning strikes over Lake Mead near Hoover Dam at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area in Arizona. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

PHOENIX — Even if Arizona sees an exceptionally heavy monsoon season this summer, that will not end the long-term drought in the state, one expert said.

Randy Cerveny, a climatologist with Arizona State University, said the state is coming off one of its driest winters in years and that it would take several big winters in a row — along with strong monsoon seasons — to end the drought.

“We’ve been in a drought really since the start of this century,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “It’s been a really dry period, particularly in terms of the winters.”

Cerveny said the southwest has seen several “mega droughts” in the past that lasted more than a century and there is no guarantee that the state is not in another one right now.

“Most scientists are agreeing that the drought started right around the turn of the century, maybe a couple years earlier,” he added.

But that does not mean that there’s not good news for residents: Satellite images have shown that storms forming in Mexico are slowly inching their way north.

“The thing to be watching for in regard to monsoon is what’s going down in Mexico,” Cerveny said.

“If you notice from the satellite photos…you’ll start to see that there are more big thunderstorms that are starting to build up down in Mexico and everyday they are starting to inch up a little bit closer,” he added.

“That’s a sign that the monsoonal moisture is getting a little bit closer and eventually will get up here.”

And for those who are anxiously awaiting the first big monsoon storm of the season, no worries: Cerveny said the state will start to see more monsoons over the next couple of weeks.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report. 

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Twitter Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...
Jayme West

Phoenix police searching for fire starters from 2020 and armed would-be robber

A Phoenix business was set on fire in July 2020 and police are looking for two suspects caught on camera.
11 hours ago
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema and other senators speak to the press about a bipartisan infrastructure package...
Kevin Stone

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona makes Time list of most influential people for 2022

U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was named to Time magazine’s 2022 list of the world's 100 most influential people.
11 hours ago
(Screenshot via ADOT Webcam)...

Westbound US 60 reopens in Tempe after weekslong repair work

Traffic returned to westbound U.S. 60 in Tempe on Sunday night, after a closure to repair damage caused by a water main break.
11 hours ago
(Screenshot via ADOT Webcam)...

Fatal crash closes Interstate 17 in north Phoenix

One person was killed and others were injured in a multivehicle crash that closed northbound Interstate 17 in Phoenix early Monday.
11 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Taylor Tasler

Public-private partnership in the Valley looking to make grilling a little greener

The summer season usually means firing up the grill for some barbecue and now public and private leaders in Arizona are partnering to figure out how to make grilling better for the environment.
11 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...
Sponsored Content by Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.

Sponsored Articles

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
By Dr. Richard Carmona

Now’s a great time to receive your COVID-19 vaccine

If you haven’t received a COVID-19 vaccine yet, now’s the time to join many other of your fellow Arizonans who are doing so right now. No one will criticize you; there is no shame. In fact, you’ll be welcomed with smiles and open arms!
Arizona could possibly be in a ‘mega drought,’ expert says