Experts predict above average precipitation for this year’s Monsoon

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jun. 3, 2022 at 6:17 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Monsoon is just around the corner, and with the extreme heat and megadrought here in Southern Arizona, everyone wants to know if this year will be a “nonsoon” or a monsoon.

Experts are predicting an above average monsoon this year. They don’t expect it to be like last year’s record-breaking monsoon, but there are preps being done right now for monsoon flooding and there’s some things you can even do right at home to get ready.

After a dry winter, extreme heat, and drought, southern Arizona may finally see some relief in the coming months with monsoon.

“The monsoon can contribute to soil moisture and it makes the winter precipitation run off more effective, so if you have a good monsoon season in some of our watersheds, then the rainfall that falls in the winter and more of it makes it into the streams and helps our water situation,” University of Arizona researcher, Zack Guido says.

Arizona is one of several states facing a megadrought, meaning a drought that’s lasted 20 years or longer. Even with an above average monsoon, Guido, doesn’t think it will be enough to put a good dent in the drought. We would need several consecutive wet seasons to get out of the drought and if this monsoon brings less rain than expected, we could be in trouble if we have another dry winter.

He says, “In the southwest we have two rainfall seasons and if we miss one of them it can really put pressure on the next one and if we miss two in a row it really sends us into much dryer conditions and really sets the stage for water impacts and ecosystem impacts.”

Guido says monsoon can be very unpredictable, which is why local fire agencies have already started preparing for the possible flooding.

The Tucson Fire Department says there are a number of ways for people to prepare and protect their home.

“If your house is in a flood prone area or maybe near the bottom of a hill we like to urge people to pick up those sandbags and place them strategically around their property,” TFD’s Michael Colaianni.

TFD also encourages people to go around their outdoor spaces and clean up debris and secure or tie down anything that could fly away like garden décor or trampolines.

Something else TFD wants everyone to prepared for when it comes to monsoon storms is power outages.

He says, “Electricity and power can be an issue during monsoon with it going in and out so we recommend people having extra batteries, extra flashlights on hand just in case that power does go out you still need to be able to get in and out of your house and around.”

One of their biggest recommendations is to be weather aware by staying up to date on all of the latest storms in your area.

Another big thing TFD stressed is that they want everyone to use common sense around flood waters. TFD says if you see rising flood water, don’t try to drive through it. Turn around and find an alternate route.

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