In less than a month, monsoon 2021 crushed entire 2020 season
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - After just 29 days, Monsoon 2021 has produced more rain than the entire season in 2020.
Officially at the airport, 1.64 inches in 2021 after getting only 1.62 in 2020.
“Well, I think it’s looking pretty good,” said Christopher Castro, a professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona. “We usually get about half or so of our annual precipitation during the monsoon.”
It could still stall and dry out but the models say it will remain rainy for at least the next week or so and the La Nina-like conditions in the Pacific bode well for a good, wet season.
“At least for the next week or so, the forecast, as much as I can see, are predicting wet conditions in Arizona,” Castro said.
The wet weather has advantages in the short term but will not do much for the long-term drought Arizona and much of the Southwest is facing right now.
“It is beneficial in the short term for reducing water demand,” he said. “It’s also beneficial for certain sectors of agriculture.”
But for farmers who are growing cotton or alfalfa who depend on the Central Arizona Project, the wet monsoon will likely make little difference.
“It’s nothing but great news in terms of our immediate water supply issues in Arizona,” he said. “Depending on monsoon rain as a steady water supply in Arizona is a very risky proposition.”
But it’s not just the water issues, monsoon is a time of severe weather in Arizona and people need to take that into consideration.
“Monsoon season is our severe weather period where we’re going to have flash flooding, dust storms, haboobs and also lightning,” he said. “People need to pay attention.”
Already, there have been tornado warnings in Southern Arizona as a result of these storms something that’s normally seen only in the Southern Plains but it does give an idea of how climate change is warping the weather.
“We are getting extreme weather associated with our monsoon in Arizona and we know our monsoon precipitation has been getting more extreme,” Castro said.
Sometimes extremely dry. Sometimes extremely wet. 2021 starting as wet.
Copyright 2021 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.