Monsoon[er] or later helped significantly relieve Arizona’s drought

Kim Quintero | (3TV/CBS 5)

Thursday was the final day of Monsoon 2021, and after the hottest summer on record scorched the Valley of the Sun last year, this season brought much needed relief to Arizona.

According to Jaret Rogers, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service office in Phoenix, incredible rains helped ease a disastrous drought.

“Over 80 percent of the state was in the worst two drought categories before the monsoon, extreme and exceptional drought, and now that number is closer to 14 percent, so a tremendous improvement,” said Rogers.

Looking at data from NWS, Tucson picked up more than a foot of rain this season, which is more than double what’s considered normal. Flagstaff received just over 10 inches of rain, which is roughly three inches above average.

The official reporting station at Phoenix Sky Harbor received 4.20 inches so far, which is almost two inches more than normal, making this the 26th wettest monsoon, dating back to 1896.

“If you look across the entire Valley, we actually received more than that, over five inches, and we had the wettest July and August since we’ve been tracking the Valley-wide rain gauges in 1990,” said Rogers. “So overall, a very wet year, certainly much more active than the past two years that we’ve seen.”

With all that moisture, Arizona did not experience the long-lasting, block-buster heatwaves, as experienced in 2020.

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