Dry winter expected in Arizona after weak monsoon season
PHOENIX — It doesn’t seem likely Arizona will get a respite from the dry weather in the coming months after a weak monsoon season.
Meteorologists are predicting a dry winter throughout the state brought on by the emerging La Nina weather pattern, which is a natural cooling of certain parts of the equatorial Pacific that usually leads to less rain and snow in the Southwest.
“Arizona really just can’t get a break,” University of Arizona climatologist Mike Crimmins told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday. “It’ll probably get worse before it gets better, so we can’t get any good news.”
A dry winter would be bad fortune for Arizona considering 97% of the state is in a drought. More than half of that area in extreme drought conditions because of the weak monsoon season.
In fact, Arizona is coming off the driest meteorological summer in history. Phoenix also experienced its hottest summer in history.
The meteorological summer runs June through August.
Arizona’s had an especially busy wildfire season as a result.
More than 900,000 acres have burned in the state this year and the fire season could stretch until November unless there’s significant rainfall soon.
The 194,000-acre Bush Fire northeast of the Valley became the fifth-largest fire in Arizona, and the Bighorn Fire became No. 7 after roaring through about 120,000 acres in the Catalina Mountains near Tucson.