2022 monsoon season in Arizona expected to be above-normal – good news for state agriculture

A dust storm as it approaches Phoenix, Arizona from the east during the monsoon season. (Getty Images)

The start of monsoon season is just three weeks away and experts say it could be a wet one as above-normal rainfall is being predicted for the southern half of Arizona.

This is good news, especially for farmers and ranchers.  

Agriculture in the desert has its benefits and its challenges. During dry times, farmers can access groundwater or surface water, but it’s a different story for ranchers.

"My ranchers with their cattle out in the rangelands, they need those summer rains, so if we don’t get them, they potentially have to sell off their herd," says Julie Murphree with the Arizona Farm Bureau.

Last year’s monsoon, she says, was difficult as the season started dry, but things took a turn later on. However, it was too late and some ranchers were forced to make the difficult decision to sell their herds.

"Why that’s tough is, we build our genetics for improving our herds. Can’t do that overnight, so for some of my ranchers because the rains didn’t come quick enough, they had to sell their herd. For other ranchers depending where they are in the state, it came just in time," Murphree said.

Having a wet monsoon is certainly beneficial economically. Annually, Arizona ranchers generate around $700 million.

"Our farmers and ranchers have to be very faith-based because we have to depend on mother nature. Our providence to kind of to make sure that we do what we can do and what we do so well to feed our Arizona families, but it is something we are constantly monitoring and that’s why we use some of the technology we use today," Murphree said.

You can check the latest weather conditions by visiting the FOX 10 Phoenix weather page, or download the Free FOX 10 Weather app, which is available on Apple iOS and Android.

More monsoon coverage:


Rain/flood safety tips

The American Red Cross' tips for heavy rain situations and flood safety:

  • Turn around don’t drown! If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.
  • If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Tune in to your local radio, NOAA radio, or news channels for the latest updates.
  • If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly.
  • Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe.
  • If power lines are down, do not step in puddles or standing water.
  • If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame as alternate lighting.