2021 monsoon makes a big splash in Arizona’s deep drought

Jul 29, 2021, 9:00 AM | Updated: 12:28 pm
(AP Photo/Denise Cathey)...
(AP Photo/Denise Cathey)
(AP Photo/Denise Cathey)

PHOENIX – A series of powerful storms that brought days of heavy rain to most of Arizona has made an impact on the drought.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 52% of the state is now in extreme or exceptional drought, down dramatically from 84% last week. Now, just 8.6% of the state is in the deepest drought category called exceptional. That’s down from 36% last week.

University of Arizona climate scientist Mike Crimmins says Arizona just experienced “epic rainfall” and there couldn’t have been a better type of rainfall event in the summer to improve short-term drought conditions.

“It was widespread so almost all of Arizona got some precipitation,” he said. “It was a long duration event so it soaked the soils really well. It occurred in multiple pulses and water just started to runoff everywhere.”

Monsoon season, which begins June 15 and ends Sept. 30, has already surpassed rain totals for the previous two season combined, the National Weather Service in Phoenix said last week.

The Valley has received 1.67 inches of rain this month, based on the official gauge at Sky Harbor Airport, making for the wettest July since 2013.

More rain is on the way: the weather bureau predicted a 50% chance of rain Thursday evening and 40% Friday and Saturday.

But, Crimmins said, the recent storms didn’t solve all of the state’s drought problems.

“This drought took us a while to get into and so it will take us a while to climb back out,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Dirt bike rider dies after collision with police vehicle on Phoenix street

A man riding a dirt bike that wasn't approved for street use died after a collision with a Phoenix police vehicle Wednesday evening, authorities said.
10 hours ago
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...

Funeral services for former Arizona AG Grant Woods set for Nov. 12

Funeral services for former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods have been set for Nov. 12 in Phoenix, the family said Thursday.
10 hours ago
(KTAR News Photo)...

Bullet hits Arizona DPS trooper vehicle in El Mirage

Authorities said someone shot at an Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper vehicle in metro Phoenix late Wednesday.
10 hours ago
(Chompie's Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Chompie’s deli set to open its largest restaurant near site of original Phoenix location

Chompie's is set to open its fifth, and largest, restaurant next week about a mile from where its original Phoenix location debuted in 1979.
10 hours ago
(Facebook photo/SOHO Scottsdale)...

Asian-American fusion concept Buddha’s Ritual to debut in Scottsdale

The couple behind two Valley restaurants is set to debut a new Asian-American fusion concept in Scottsdale later this fall.
10 hours ago
(Facebook photo/Lowell Observatory)...

Flagstaff Lowell Observatory to reopen general admission next month

Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff is set to reopen for general admission on Nov. 15 after a 20-month period where the facility was either closed or offered limited programming due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Schwartz Laser Eye Center

How to sharpen your vision with elective procedures

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning and being able to see clearly. You wouldn’t have to wait to put on glasses or contacts, and there would be no more blurry showers nor forgetting where your glasses are.

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.
2021 monsoon makes a big splash in Arizona’s deep drought