ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona’s historic drought won’t be fixed in single strong monsoon season

Apr 16, 2021, 7:49 AM | Updated: 11:31 am
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

PHOENIX – Climate experts say drought conditions in Arizona are the type usually only seen once or twice in a century and one season of rain won’t fix it.

The U.S. Drought Monitor said 58% of the state is in exceptional drought, the worst level. Another 29% is in extreme drought.

“You have to go back to June of 2002 to see anything similar to our current conditions and that was when 35% of Arizona was at this exceptional drought level,” University of Arizona climatologist Mike Crimmins told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Arizona State University climatologist Randy Cerveny said, “We’re going to need several years of water to get us back into a good situation in Arizona.”

Arizona has already entered the driest period of the year, April through June.

“The monsoon officially begins June 15. We’re just going to have to hang in there for the next couple of months until the rainfall arrives.”

The second biggest wildfire in state history started just days after the 2002 monsoon season kicked off. The human-caused Rodeo-Chediski Fire in eastern Arizona charred almost 470,000 acres and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.

As of Monday, nearly 12,000 acres have burned in 233 fires across the state this year, the Department of Forestry said.

“We’ve missed out on a lot of precipitation,” Cerveny said. “Any kind of a spark is going to create a nasty situation.”

But he added, the National Weather Service is predicting an above-normal summer of rainfall from the monsoon.

The official gauge at Phoenix Sky Harbor has only measured 1.05 inches of rain this year; the average at this point is 3.02 inches. Tucson International Airport is at 1.04 inches of rainfall in 2021; the average is 2.74 inches.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

People get inoculated against the coronavirus in Hyderabad, India, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. India h...
KTAR.com

Arizona reports 2,495 new COVID-19 cases, 49 more deaths Thursday

Arizona health officials on Thursday reported 2,495 new COVID-19 cases and 49 additional deaths from the disease.
9 hours ago
(Mandel Ngan/Pool via AP)...
KTAR.com

Maricopa County prosecutors consider charges against Sinema protesters

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office said it is reviewing recommended charges submitted against activists who confronted U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in a bathroom two weeks ago.
9 hours ago
Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio poses for a portrait at his private office in Fountain Hi...
Associated Press

Maricopa County to pay $5M to owner whose restaurant was raided by Arpaio

Maricopa County officials approved a $5 million settlement Wednesday with a restaurant owner who claimed in a lawsuit that then-Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office had defamed him and violated his rights during a 2014 investigation.
9 hours ago
(Grand Canyon University photo)...
Griselda Zetino

Grand Canyon University offers new program for students with disabilities

Grand Canyon University is offering a new program meant to help students with disabilities develop social and job skills.
9 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Tucson Police Department)...
Torrence Dunham

Police group leader says Tucson vaccine mandate will increase staffing issues

Just over 50 Tucson police officers face getting a COVID-19 vaccine or a pink slip in December after the council voted Tuesday to fire unvaccinated city employees, a move a law enforcement association says would devastate services police provide.
9 hours ago
ADOT photo...
KTAR.com

US 60 to close between Superior, Miami Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The route will be closed as crews further remove the old Pinto Creek Bridge, requiring motorists to take alternate routes.
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
PNC Bank

3 cool tips to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for your child

Early brain development has a crucial impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. Research has shown that 90% of a child’s brain is developed by age five.
...
Albertsons

Grill like a pro this fall with tips from Albertsons

As the weather cools and football season kicks off, it’s a great time to fire up the grill and enjoy your favorite outdoor meals.
...
Chris Kennedy

My Special Aflac Duck® taking flight in Arizona

For more than 65 years, Aflac has had the extraordinary opportunity and privilege to help provide peace of mind to individuals who have our supplemental insurance policies.
Arizona’s historic drought won’t be fixed in single strong monsoon season