Active rainfall and storms beat last year's monsoon season in Arizona

Due to heavy rainfall and severe storms in Arizona, meteorologist Larry Hopper from the National Weather Service says the monsoon season has allowed states to have more tropical moisture.

"We've had a couple different tropical systems in the East Pacific," Hopper said. "We actually had that big ridge of high pressure with the anomalous heat in the Pacific Northwest by having that high pressure to our north. It's allowing us to get a lot more tropical moisture."

In 2020, Arizona's monsoon season was a ‘nonsoon,’ as Arizona experienced one of the driest seasons on record.

This year, Phoenix Sky Harbor picked up over half a inch of rain.

Hopper says that during the monsoon season, not everyone will see a significant improvement in drought conditions.

"Rainfall and storms that we get are kind of more spotty in nature, so you get some local heavy downpours but not everyone tends to get that as you've seen in point locations in the past week so we really need to have a wet winter and cool season with quite a bit of snowfall in higher elevations," said Hopper.

Hopper says in the later monsoon season, things will change.

"When we get towards the latter third of the monsoon season, it does look like our chances of precipitation are going to be probably tilted towards dryer than normal, simply because we are expecting for La Niña to take effect," Hopper said. "So typically in La Niña fall and La Niña winter we're not as wet as we are otherwise."

Be prepared and stay safe during the monsoon

"Most Valley residents know how quickly and furiously storms can move in and out, bringing strong winds, dust, rain, and flash flooding. These storms can cause interruptions in services, such as water, power, and gas," stated Captain Ashley Losch of the Glendale Fire Department.

GFD reminds residents of ways they can be prepared and stay safe:

  • Have flashlights with extra batteries on hand.
  • Have food that can be prepared without the need for cooking or refrigeration.
  • Have at least one gallon of clean water for each person in the household.
  • Have backup power for anyone requiring power for a medical device.
  • Have backup power for cell phones that do not require charging.
  • Have a first aid kit ready and accessible.
  • Never drive into areas with flowing water; it takes less than 10 inches to wash a car away.
  • Avoid flooded areas, such as washes.
  • If waters are rising, seek higher ground.
  • Do not approach downed power lines, the ground can be energized for up to 200 feet.
  • Keep pets indoors during storms.

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