Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close

PHOENIX -- Arizona has been in a drought for 17 years and Arizona State University climate expert Randy Cerveny said it's now completely in the hands of Mother Nature as to when it will all end.

Things don't get better when the Valley received only one rainstorm over the entire winter. Cerveny said, without that March 1 soaking, we'd be in desperate shape but it didn't put a dent in the drought.

"That storm helped a bit but we need many more storms that dump a lot of snow," he said.

The state's snowpack is almost non-existent. But Cerveny said there's some hope on the horizon that we will not see a repeat of this winter.

"We are all hoping in the weather industry for El Nino, the warming of the Pacific Ocean waters which shifts the storm track so the storms are more likely to come into Arizona than go up into the northwest."

But he said even a serious El Nino event won't bring an end to Arizona's drought.

As for the changing climate's impact on our drought, the jury is still out.

"When you have one of the most complex systems that we can study, the climate system, trying to tease out what is natural variability and what is human variability is very difficult," said Cerveny. "The best that we can do is put it into computer models and those models tell us how the effects we are seeing will be magnified in the future."

Jim Cross, Reporter

share this story:
Attention Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Family in Focus

    KTAR spends the week taking a look at the issues a modern Arizona family faces.