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Drought worsens for rain-starved Arizona

PHOENIX — It’s been over 100 days since the Valley has had rain. In fact, there’s new information that the entire state badly needs some rainfall.

“Pretty much all of the state, except a very small piece of southern Coconino County, is in a drought condition,” said Arizona State climatologist Nancy Selover. “The little piece that’s not is in an abnormally dry condition.”

In fact, the U.S. Drought Monitor website says that the percentage of Arizona that’s in extreme drought more than doubled from 7 to 16 percent in the past week.

Selover said that Arizona had a very dry winter.

“Then the spring happened, and now we’re just getting hotter and drier with a lot of windy conditions, and that’s kind of exacerbated the situation of drying out the forests,” she said.

But Selover said she is optimistic that monsoon storms — and the rain that comes with them — might be just around the corner.

“We’ve seen the humidity start and the moisture start to move into the state,” Selover said. “That’s a good sign that we should be on target for our activity firing up around the first of July. Hopefully, that will be the case.”

She added that she hopes any upcoming thunderstorms don’t bring dry lightning with them, because that could lead to wildfires.