Dry weather likely for the rest of 2011 in Arizona

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PHOENIX - It hasn’t rained much around Phoenix since the end of July. It’s as if the monsoon faucet got turned off and never really came back on, only a trickle at times. As a result, we’re about to finish up Monsoon 2011 in Phoenix with 1.60” of rain, more than an inch below the average monsoon rainfall of 2.71”.

For the year, we’re even farther behind our average rainfall. So far in 2011, we’ve had 2.64” of rain, less than half of what we “should” have received by now. And the outlook for the rest of the year isn’t good.

The Climate Prediction Center issues it’s updates one a month and the latest update paints and dry and warmer than normal end of the year. Also, as we look into early next year and the bulk of the winter months, things don’t look much better. The long range prognosis is still drier than normal and warmer than normal. At this point, it looks like the culprit will be La Nina, a cooler of the sea surface temperatures in parts of the Pacific. That impacts the overall weather pattern around the planet. And for us, if it holds, it could make for a dry winter.

The maps are fun to look at. Here’s the links if you want to check them out:
http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day/