El Nino starting to make its way into Arizona

Nov 24, 2014, 8:00 AM | Updated: 8:01 am
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PHOENIX — University of Arizona climatologist Mike Crimmins said El Nino conditions fueled by warming of the Pacific Ocean are starting to arrive in Arizona.

The warmer waters can deliver wetter winters but Crimmins said this phase wasn’t expected to be a powerhouse event. Arizona has had El Ninos in the weak category that still delivered above-average rainfall.

“Weak events are a mixed bag for Arizona. We have had plenty of events that gave us above average precipitation,” Crimmins said.

“We have about an even number of events that gave us below average precipitation. I’m holding out hope and being optimistic.”

The last powerful El Nino to hit the state came in 2009-2010, cumping big rain and snowfall across the state. And after a strong summer monsoon, Crimmins said a big winter would be icing on the cake.

“It would be the best thing going for us. We’ve had 15 years of drought with these bummer winters. The last three winters have been bad from California to New Mexico.”

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El Nino starting to make its way into Arizona