ARIZONA NEWS

Signs point to another wet winter season in Arizona’s future

Apr 14, 2023, 4:05 AM

Horse Mesa spill gate testing. (Salt River Project Photo)...

Horse Mesa spill gate testing. (Salt River Project Photo)

(Salt River Project Photo)

PHOENIX – Arizona might have a second consecutive wet winter on the way, according to a state climate expert, although predictions for the last one missed the mark.

“What we’re looking at for next winter is actually El Niño, which traditionally brings storms and moisture to us,” climatologist Randy Cerveny, a professor of geographical sciences at Arizona State University, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

“So if that prediction holds true, this last winter might be matched by this next winter.”

Nearly 100% of the state was experiencing drought conditions as recently as mid-July, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, but the situation changed dramatically after several wetter-than-usual months.

Now, less than 2% of the state is in drought conditions, the lowest level for April since 2009.

Cerveny said last winter’s heavy rain and snow took forecasters by surprise because of how the Pacific Ocean climate patterns of El Niño (warmer waters) and La Niña (cooler waters) usually affect Arizona.

“We were under what’s called La Niña conditions this winter, which normally for the Southwest is associated with dryer, hotter weather,” Cerveny said.

“Well, obviously, that La Niña didn’t do that, so we are pretty happy with it. But it leaves us with our heads being scratched trying to figure out what happened.”

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

We want to hear from you.

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

72° | 50°
70° and mostly sunny

Arizona News

John Holmberg Amazing Arizonans KTAR News 92.3 FM...

Mike Broomhead

Amazing Arizonans: Radio host John Holmberg dishes on voice work, stand-up comedy, more

Longtime Valley radio host John Holmberg is the latest guest on Mike Broomhead's Amazing Arizonans podcast, which celebrates greatness.

22 minutes ago

Police are looking to identify suspects in an assault at a parking garage near Gilbert Road and Vau...

Jim Sharpe

I hope I’m never NOT shocked by youth violence in the East Valley or elsewhere

KTAR News host Jim Sharpe hopes that the shock of youth violence in the East Valley and elsewhere doesn't go away because it gets normalized.

1 hour ago

Dan + Shay performing on stage....

KTAR.com

Country singers Dan + Shay adds Phoenix stop in September on upcoming tour

Dan + Shay will perform at Phoenix's Talking Stick Resort Amphitheatre on Sept. 5 for their "2024 The Heartbreak On The Map Tour."

2 hours ago

Split-panel image with Arizona Public Service President Ted Geisler being interviewed in the KTAR N...

Kevin Stone

APS, Arizona’s largest electric utility, wants to raise residential rates by about 11%

APS, Arizona’s largest electric utility company, is seeking a rate hike that would increase residential bills by an average of 11%.

3 hours ago

People can be seen riding the escalators and standing in lines inside Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Har...

KTAR.com

Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport gets $36 million federal grant for infrastructure upgrades

The infrastructure at Arizona’s largest airport is getting an upgrade thanks to a $36 million federal grant.

4 hours ago

photo of Raad Almansoori...

KTAR.com

Suspect in Arizona stabbings linked to murder of woman in New York

A man suspected in two recent Valley stabbings has been linked to the murder of a woman in a New York City hotel room in early February.

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Signs point to another wet winter season in Arizona’s future