ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona closing in on two decades of drought

Mar 19, 2014, 5:00 AM | Updated: 5:00 am

PHOENIX — Arizona State University climatologist Randy Cerveny said the state has been in varying degrees of drought since 1997, but Arizona isn’t close to an extended water shortage yet.

“Normal droughts in the past century spanned about 20 years,” he said.

But the state has been through mega droughts before. Some lasted more than a century and there’s no guarantee that we’re not in the early stages of another mega drought.

“Whether this drought will be incredibly long remains to be seen,” Cerveny said. “We can’t see that far into the future. A long-term drought contributed to the fall of the early Native Americans civilizations in Arizona in the 1300s and 1500s.”

Another concern to Cerveny is Arizona’s continued population growth.

“That puts even greater demand on what rain and snowfall we do get,” he said. “Simply, we have so many more people and that water can only be stretched so far.”

Complicating the drought is the fact that Phoenix’s only winter rainfall came on March 1.

“That storm helped,” said Cerveny. “If we hadn’t received that storm we’d be in desperate shape. We went for 70 days without rain until then.”

The National Weather Service said if Phoenix doesn’t receive another drop of rain this winter, this will be the 26th driest winter in Valley history.

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

Newborn hearing screenings, other services bolstered by new grant...

Balin Overstolz McNair

Arizona gets grant to boost variety of services for newborns with hearing loss

A $235,000 dollar grant will help the Arizona Department of Health Services provide newborn hearing screenings and related services.

3 hours ago

The Chandler City Council has approved the city’s 2024-25 Budget and the 2025-2034 Capital Improv...

Bailey Leasure

Chandler City Council approves budget for 2024-25

The Chandler City Council has approved the city’s 2024-25 Budget and the 2025-2034 Capital Improvement Program.

3 hours ago

The Westin Tempe, 11 E 7th St, Tempe, Arizona. (Jim Poulin/Phoenix Business Journal)...

Brandon Brown/Phoenix Business Journal

Tempe Westin owners secure $93M loan extension, keep control of hotel

The owners of the 290-room Westin Tempe have negotiated a significant loan extension and will retain control of the hotel after it faced the risk of being sold at auction.

4 hours ago

The Loop 101 freeway will be closed in both directions near Tatum Boulevard over three nights this ...

KTAR.com

Overnight Loop 101 closures near Tatum Boulevard to start Monday

Both directions of the Loop 101 in northeast Phoenix near Tatum Boulevard will be closed three nights for utility work starting Monday.

12 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

ktar.com

Weekend Wrap: Here are the biggest Phoenix news stories from June 14-16

From Arizona lawmakers passing a controversial bipartisan state budget to a fire blazing north of Fountain Hills, here are some of the biggest news stories in the Valley over the weekend.

14 hours ago

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north phoenix....

KTAR.com

Parking dispute leaves Phoenix man dead in overnight shooting

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north Phoenix.

14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Arizona closing in on two decades of drought