We’ve got a standard joke around the office when it starts raining: “Drought’s over.”
You’ve gotta love the picture on Arizona Republic water guy Shaun McKinnon’s blog today of water spilling over the dam in the middle of Tempe. To non-southwestern desert types: that’s a place where you don’t usually see water. But Shaun bids us take note:
Heavy rain and snow and the excess runoff has tempted a lot of folks to suggest Arizona has been rescued from its long dry spell, which has entered its 14th dust-choked year. And it’s easy to take a breath in anticipation of a relieved sigh what with all the storms that have improbably soaked this year of La Niña.
“The wet winter has definitely been a bonanza for us,” said Tony Haffer, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service in Phoenix. “But the Southwest in general, and Arizona in particular, has been in deficit for many years. Naturally, it will take many winters like this one to get us back into balance.”