PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -
A meteorology professor at Arizona State University said Friday a strengthening El Niño could mean more storms and milder temperatures for the 2015 monsoon.
“The Eastern Pacific is actually very hot. We have what's called an El Niño in the Equatorial Pacific, and we have a big pool of warm water off the coast of California. Those things are combining to heat up the water, create a lot of moisture, and some of that moisture is making it up into the state. That's giving us the clouds and better chance for rain,” said Randy Cerveny.
Cerveny said this week of wild weather swings, from triple-digit heat last week, to desert rain and mountain snow Friday, are all signs of what's to come for the next several months.
“May and June are some of our driest months. We don't normally expect to have clouds and precipitation,” Cerveny said. “I think this kind of weather that we're having right now is indicative that we'll probably have a bigger, more active monsoon than what we've had in the past few years.”
Cerveny said he believes temperatures may also not be as harsh.
“While we will get up into the plus-110 range undoubtedly, we do live in the desert, it might not be as frequent as what we've had in past years,” Cerveny said.
Cerveny said El Niño has a bigger impact on Arizona during the fall and winter rather than summer, and he expects the end of the year to be wetter than normal.