Crazy Weather Warning! What Will Arizona’s Monsoon Look Like This Year?
Last summer, our horses' farrier had a theory: he said he'd trim their hooves a little longer in order to help them stand in the muddy pasture during monsoon season. At that point, not a drop of rain had fallen, yet somehow, he was forecasting a wet summer.
I don't know how, but he knew we were due for a summer full of monsoonal rains. He'd picked up on a pattern that I'm not even sure the experts at the Weather Channel took into consideration.
I have no idea how he knew, but he was right. The next time I go looking for a weather prognosticator, I'm going to give Bryce a call to see what he thinks.
Last Year's Monsoon Season
If you spent any time in Arizona last summer, you might remember a monsoon season that was nothing short of glorious. The rains came early and consistently, and they hung around for longer than usual.
The National Weather Service recently recapped last year's monsoon season and shared an idea of what we could expect this year.
Most of Arizona experienced above-average normal rainfall, which made the 2022 monsoon season the 7th wettest on record.
All the rain brought an explosion of growth for plant species across the spectrum, and even helped set the stage for the super bloom of flowers and plants our region experienced in the Spring.
The good news is the abundance of rain last year helped mitigate some of the droughts throughout Arizona. The not-so-good news is that all that explosive growth increased the possibility of wildfires, particularly for those below 6,000 feet.
The New Monsoon: What to Expect This Year
A typical Arizona monsoon averages about two inches in the lower deserts, and up to around 16 inches in higher elevations.
Around 30 to 60% of Arizona's annual precipitation comes with the monsoon from about mid-June to September.
CLIMAS and scientists at the University of Arizona are buzzing about the predicted El Niño, which throws all of our typical patterns out of whack. This could cause hotter summer temperatures all over Arizona. Will we get a normal monsoon? That's still up for debate.
How much rain will we get? Now, I'm not a scientist, but from what I gather, it might rain. And it might not. El Niño could very well cause our summer weather to be crazy and unpredictable - throwing off our typical patterns.
No matter what happens, stay safe this year. Watch for lightning and head indoors when it looks like it's going to storm. Flash flooding is always a risk, so don't drive into anything questionable when the road begins to fill.
As crazy as things could get, keep some of that Arizona common sense close at hand. All you need do is wait a few hours for the water to subside, and it'll be safe to cross those washes again in no time.
It's what my farrier Bryce would do, and that old cowboy wisdom has served him well.