PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Arizona is known for being hot but not necessarily windy. Central and southern Arizona has some of the least windy cities in the country. This year is different.
For a couple of months, it has felt like almost every day has been either breezy or downright windy. Meteorologist Marvin Percha with the National Weather Service confirms this is one of the top five windiest years we've seen in more than three decades when you look at the spring and early summer months.
The wind isn't just a nuisance. It's a problem for fire crews battling wildfires. In five days, the Telegraph Fire, currently Arizona's largest wildfire, grew to more than 84,000 acres. "One of the reasons why we've had these large fires this year is the winds help to spread the fires, and especially in combination with the dry conditions and the dry vegetation," explains Percha.
The difference this year is a stubborn dome of warm air that has been parked and sitting east of our state. A series of cooler storms from the Pacific Northwest have been colliding with the warmer air creating winds. Percha says at this point there isn't enough data to link the windy weather to climate change. "It's looking more like just unusual weather pattern. In longer terms and climate change, there's no signal either way that these events are becoming more or less frequent," he said.
If you are not a fan of the wind, there is some good news and some bad news. The winds are going away next week but the trade-off will be hotter temperatures. Looking for a bright spot? At least the state won't feel like a blow dryer.