Arizona’s drought may not see any relief until this summer, new predictions show

Generally, the outlooks show Arizona headed into springtime with drier and warmer than normal temperatures.
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 8:50 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona could be in for some surprises in the next 90 days. Forecasters from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center issued their predictions for the nation’s temperature, precipitation, and drought. NOAA’s findings show most of Arizona can expect an above-average chance of warmer temperatures. While Western Arizona has the highest percentage chance (70-80%) of having above normal temperatures through the middle of June, Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff have a 50-60% chance of above-normal temperatures.

When it comes to the greater U.S., more than half of the country could experience above-average temperatures this spring, with the greatest chances in the Southern Rockies and Southern Plains. Below-average temperatures are most likely to be felt in the Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska. Surprisingly, Phoenix has an even chance at average precipitation when it comes to rainfall. The next 90 days are usually some of the driest for the Valley. Meanwhile, Arizona’s high country communities, including Northern Mohave, Coconino, Navajo, and Apache counties, have a 33-50% chance of below-normal rainfall.

Monsoon 2022 is a long way off, but we’ve got a sneak peek. While the long-term drought conditions will worsen the next three months, the outlook for the summer thunderstorm season is slightly well-positioned, showing better than average chances for more rain in central and eastern Arizona.

Other parts of the United States could see above-average precipitation most likely in portions of the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic, and Alaska’s west coast. Below-average rainfall is forecast for parts of the Central Great Basin, Southwest, Central and Southern Rockies, and Central and Southern Plains eastward to the Central Gulf Coast.