This active monsoon season: good or bad for Arizona? It’s a little of both

Rainfall from this year's monsoons has helped the drought, but with that comes damage from high winds and more mosquitoes.
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 8:35 PM MST|Updated: Sep. 5, 2022 at 9:25 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona has seen a lot of monsoon activity this season across the entire state. So is that good or bad? It turns out it’s a little of both.

It’s been a dramatic monsoon season, and it’s not over. “The rainfall has definitely helped the drought,” said Marvin Percha, with the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

The storms have kept the NWS busy, generating water amounts we don’t usually see. “If you go even further north, I noticed that Crown King got 20 inches of rain. So overall it’s definitely been above normal,” said Percha. Short term, NWS said this helps the drought, but long term Percha said this doesn’t make much of a drought dent, and summer storms aren’t what’s truly needed.

“We need a lot of snow in the winter months. So that’s where most of the runoff comes even in most of our local reservoirs in the Salt River,” said Percha. He adds that the water also helps to lessen fire danger, keeping wildfires at bay.

But with the good comes the bad, like mosquitos. “They don’t need much to breed,” said Percha.

And it’s not just water affecting people; strong winds have also been causing trouble. “Sometimes over 60 miles an hour. They’re capable of taking power poles down and knocking out electricity,” said Percha. Thousands of Arizonans have dealt with power outages this summer, putting a strain on our utility companies.

As far as the drought goes, NWS said that even though we’re getting a lot of water right now, it’s so hot that evaporation takes most of the water back into the air, and that’s why those winter storms and snowfall up north and east are so important.