The 2022 monsoon improved Arizona's short-term drought situation

By Ignacio Ventura
Published: Thursday, December 22, 2022 - 10:22pm
Updated: Friday, December 23, 2022 - 9:15am

Monsoon clouds over Phoenix
Sky Schaudt/KJZZ
Monsoon clouds over Phoenix on Aug. 18, 2022.

This year’s monsoon season improved the short-term drought situation in Arizona. State climatologist Erinanne Saffell says it was a stark change from the much drier conditions in 2020.

“We were covered, most of the state, in 94% of extreme or exceptional drought at the end of 2020 so we’re looking fairly good at the end of our short-term drought right now at the end of 2022. We’re happy to see that,” she said.

Despite the wet summer, the state remains mired in a historic drought — the result of 30 years of dry conditions. And Saffell says it will take years of surplus precipitation to reverse the state’s long-term situation.

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