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.

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

(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park...
Luke Forstner

Valley expert shares lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

People looking to cool off at a lake this Memorial Day weekend are asked to do so safely after a string of drownings.
7 hours ago
VR equipment and a version of the TASER 7 that utilizes VR technology for training, is demonstrated...
Taylor Tasler

Phoenix Police use virtual reality headsets to train for calls in the field

The Phoenix Police Department is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to use virtual reality to provide officers training in the field. 
7 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fan Fusion,  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for May 27-29

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of May 27-29.
7 hours ago
(ADOT Flickr Photo)...

No Valley freeway closures planned for Memorial Day weekend

Drivers won't have to worry about scheduled closures on metro Phoenix freeways this Memorial Day weekend, ADOT said.
7 hours ago
Marcos Anthony Herrera and Anthony Michael Murray (Scottsdale Police Department Photo)...

Scottsdale police arrest 2 men in string of robberies, burglaries

Scottsdale police arrested two men who are allegedly responsible for at least 12 separate crimes across metro Phoenix, authorities said Thursday.
7 hours ago
Jose Dioicio Buelna. (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photo)...

Arizona man sentenced to 5 years for selling fentanyl

An Arizona man was sentenced to five years in prison last week for his role in a drug trafficking organization, authorities said. 
1 day ago

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.
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
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!
2021 monsoon makes a big splash in Arizona’s deep drought