Dry Weather System May Wither Arizona’s Hopes for Wet Winter

A damp December promises to slake Arizona’s thirst, but the incoming weather system — La Nina — could dry up hopes earlier than predicted. After a decade of drought, the state’s water managers watch enthusiastically as water levels in reservoirs from the Salt and Verde rivers fill.

According to The Arizona Republic, snow pack readings indicate the season’s flow already measures 250 percent of normal for early January — a promising statistic that could deflate with decreased snowfall.

“We might even have to back off and say the drought, or at least this portion of it, is over if we end up with above-average precipitation this winter,” reports Charlie Ester, water-resources manager for Salt River Project, a major supplier of the Valley’s water.

The typically dry La Nina and wet El Nino weather systems may not render predictable conditions anymore, experts suggest. But climatologists remain skeptical. The decade of drought has taken its toll on Arizona, and forecasters from the Climate Prediction Center continue to call for dryer and warmer conditions as spring approaches.

Read more here.

Source: The Arizona Republic

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