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Monsoon dropping lots of water, but drought remains unchanged

PHOENIX -- The monsoon has delivered plenty of rainfall in several Arizona locations over the summer, but a climate expert said it won't end the drought.

Arizona State University professor Randy Cerveny said all the rain still won't end the drought that began in 1997.

Earlier this week New River and Black Canyon City saw several inches of rain; flooding ensued. During this monsoon the National Weather Service said Prescott has had 10.24 inches of rain, twice the norm. Flagstaff at nine inches was almost twice its average.

That may look good on paper, but "It doesn't really soak in because it falls so intensely that it runs off as opposed to general rain that allows it to soak into the soil," Cerveny said. "Snow cover is really the drought busting moisture that we need."

El Nino is expected to bring more snow in the winter.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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