Where did the monsoon go? Weak season means a worsening drought for Arizona

For Arizona, summer 2020 has been the hottest and one of the driest on record..

"We depend on that second season of wet, and we did not get that this year. This is pretty much a repeat of what happened a year ago," said Arizona State Climatologist Nancy Selover.

For summer 2020, Arizona received just 33 percent of its seasonal average rainfall. The latest drought figures show 57% of arizona is under extreme drought.

"It’s worrisome already because the rangeland issues, and we have wildfire issues now because we didn’t get that moisture. We didn’t get that rain and so we have a lot of grassland areas," said Selover.

People may think the dry pattern may have a negative impact on crops in the desert, but Steven Alameda says it’s the other way around.

"As soon as rain comes, we lose control, then we have to make changes," said Alameda. "The only thing the rain does to us down here is mess us up. We are down here because we want dry, so we can control it. We water when we need it, and the water is in our water systems, which comes from the Colorado River and we are dependent on that."

As far as the extreme heat, Alameda says they are able to deal with it.

"We had little lettuce germinating, and broccoli coming up in that heat, and we’ll turn on our sprinklers so we have the overhead irrigation. It’s to germinate and help come up, but also a cooling system, and it’s one giant evaporative cooler out there, so you actually turn that water on and reduce the temperatures in the field with that, and try to keep them in a zone that those plants can survive and keep growing and iti works," said Alameda.