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AZ drought conditions improving, though some areas have long way to go

Western Drought Colorado River
Posted at 4:38 PM, Mar 23, 2023

Running dry is something Arizona is trying to avoid. Just a few months ago, nearly 87% of the state was in the abnormally dry or worse category.

However, the latest drought monitor report shows some positive signs.

Three-quarters of the state is back to normal desert conditions.

Parts of the state, including Western Arizona along the Colorado Basin and the Colorado Basin near Lake Mead, remain in the abnormally dry category and have a long way to go to catch up with the rest of the state.

We are now heading into what is typically our dry season.

“As the jet stream relaxes it is inevitable we will see these systems lift farther and farther north, bringing us into a drier pattern”, said Jared Heill, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

The big question is: When will that happen? Meteorologists at the National Weather Service are expecting that pattern change to take place in the next 30-60 days.

"Once we see that happen with all that greening up we've seen because of all the rain we are a little concerned about our wildfire season because as soon as the rain ends, the flowers, the weeds, the grasses will die," said Heill. "That could be a concern later on down the road depending on just how long we have to wait until the monsoon gets here."

Here in the desert, it doesn't take us long to get back to drought conditions, so we always have to be thinking about conservation.

“Conservation is always very important here in the desert southwest," said Heill. "It doesn't take very long because of the intense sunshine that we get to dry things out, so we all have to do our part."