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Drought worsens for rain-starved Arizona

PHOENIX -- It's been over 100 days since the Valley has had rain. In fact, there's new information that the entire state badly needs some rainfall.

"Pretty much all of the state, except a very small piece of southern Coconino County, is in a drought condition," said Arizona State climatologist Nancy Selover. "The little piece that's not is in an abnormally dry condition."

In fact, the U.S. Drought Monitor website says that the percentage of Arizona that's in extreme drought more than doubled from 7 to 16 percent in the past week.

Selover said that Arizona had a very dry winter.

"Then the spring happened, and now we're just getting hotter and drier with a lot of windy conditions, and that's kind of exacerbated the situation of drying out the forests," she said.

But Selover said she is optimistic that monsoon storms -- and the rain that comes with them -- might be just around the corner.

"We've seen the humidity start and the moisture start to move into the state," Selover said. "That's a good sign that we should be on target for our activity firing up around the first of July. Hopefully, that will be the case."

She added that she hopes any upcoming thunderstorms don't bring dry lightning with them, because that could lead to wildfires.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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