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Big winter storms likely to bypass Arizona

PHOENIX — As recently as a month or two ago it appeared that Arizona would be on the way to a wetter and warmer winter. That has all changed.

El Nino seemed to be fueling up in the Pacific, warming waters that could have brought big storms into the state. That has all changed. What happened?

“We don’t don’t know right now but it has caused a major turnaround in the winter forecast. It’s the first time that I’ve seen an outlook change that quickly,” said
Ken Waters with the National Weather Service.

He won’t speculate on what has put the brakes on El Nino but said the winter will still be a bit warmer but not as wet as had been expected.

“It just helps push along the drought. We had some relief in the past year with a better monsoon after last years very dry winter so the new outlook does not bode well for drought.”

Which doesn’t bode well for Arizona’s ski resorts. During the last El Nino in 2009-2010 Arizona Snowbowl had almost 325 inches of snow and record crowds.

Waters said to expect a few big winter storms.