NOAA: Arizona experiencing hottest, driest summer on record

Many people would say this summer has just been awfully uncomfortable, and according to the latest climate data released by NOAA, Arizona is experiencing the hottest and driest summer on record.

At first, it was reported that July was the hottest month on record, but then August came, and it showed no mercy.

"August 2020 was actually our driest and hottest month on record," said Larry Hopper, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix. 

The latest climate data released shows Arizona receiving just 33% of its seasonal average rainfall.

"In some ways, it’s part of the course right. We had above-normal precipitation the last couple of years, so now, it’s our turn to be like 2017 and have below-normal precipitation," said Hopper.

Now, as Arizona heads into fall and winter months, climatologists are predicting a "La Niña" pattern, which typically means drier than average winter conditions for Arizona as the jet stream shifts north in the Pacific, diverting storms away from the region.

"La Niña tends to be drier, but La Niña can be quite wet," said Hopper. "It’s kinda all over the map, but this year, we are anticipating at best, maybe a weak La Niña."

Which state climatologist Nancy Selover says could help the state out. 

"You can see La Niñas all tend to be mostly below the average for precipitation for the winter period of October and March, three years that we are a little bit above that," said Selover.