Recent weather in Arizona

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Arizona saw record rainfall in January and record snowfall this winter and even last week. What is causing this weather? Does it mean a mild spring or a less severe summer?

ASU Climatologist, Randy Cerveny, joins us to discuss this change and answer all our questions.

How common is snowfall for this time of the year?

“This is very unusual,” said Cerveny. “We are at the end of something called la niña, which is a cooling of the Pacific Ocean. Normally under these circumstances we are hot and dry.”

It was predicted that Arizona was going to experience a “hot and dry” winter around this time of year, but our weather had different plans.

Current Drought Situation in the U.S.

Cerveny explained we are experiencing a short term drought.

“As we move into the spring time, our normal climate does get drier so by the time we are in June, we don’t have any rainfall normally at all,” said Cerveny. “The pattern looks like it’s changing so that we will be dry now through April and into May.”

Projecting Spring and Summer temperatures

“By the next couple days we will hit our first 80 degrees,” said Cerveny. “By the time we get into April and May we will start getting into those 100s.” With that said, enjoy these last couple of breezy days.

Regarding monsoon season, Cerveny said, “Keep in mind that we need to have Springtime hot temperatures in order to drive the monsoon. That heat is what helps suck up the moisture from the Gulf of California and from the Pacific Ocean to bring it into Arizona.”

Randy Cerveny

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