The lack of rain from the summer monsoon has put the state at risk.

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The lack of rain from Arizona's summer monsoon is putting that state in dangerous territory when it come to the drought. 

"This year, the monsoon has just really not materialized much rainfall for the region. And so, that's allowing us to be very very dry on top of record warmth across, not just Phoenix but across much the entire state" said Larry Hopper, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

That lack of rain is impacting ranchers, wildlife, and also Arizona's wildfire situation, according to Hopper. 

"[Wildfire] typically doesn't extend all the way into September like it has this year" said Hopper.

The drought forcing the Arizona’s Department of Forestry to keep fire restrictions in place longer than usual.

"I mean, it's just a bad combination of factors right now. You know, we're not getting dealt a very good hand. No precipitation, windy conditions, dry lightning -- we have a lot of human-caused starts. So, you know, it's basically -- it's a recipe for disaster" said Tiffany Davila of the Department of Forestry & Fire Management. 

The Arizona Department of Water Resources is keeping a close watch on conditions too.

"The map is indicative of the conditions out on the land, so to speak. It's really soil moisture conditions on the land. it's not really indicative of water supplies" said Tom Buschatzke, the director of the Arizona Department of Water Resources.

However, that didn't stop them from asking Governor Doug Ducey to continue the drought declaration that's been in place since 1997.

“That drought declaration is important because it allows federal funds to flow to those areas of the state that have severe impacts from the drought," said Buschatzke.

The drought does put a strain on Arizona’s water supply, but there is no need to panic.

“We'll continue to monitor the situation to project out over the next few months, and even the next few years what we might be looking at in terms of our water supplies for our population areas within the state,” said Buschatzke.

Hopper says the good news is that even though we're in a fairly significant drought, it's not as significant of a hydrologic drought because of the last two winters." 

The big question, will we see a wet winter this year?

"Predominately, because we are looking at a La Nina pattern this fall and winter, we are currently under a La Nina watch and we do expect that at some point we will be in a La Nina," said Hopper.


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3TV/CBS 5 Weekend Weather Anchor

Ashlee DeMartino is part of the Arizona Weather Authority team and works every day to bring you accurate forecasts. Read more about Ashlee.

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