Arizona may have driest winter in centuries

Monday, January 16, 2006

US state of Arizona

Nearly a month into the Winter season, much of Arizona has still not received rain or snow. Drought conditions have affected the state to varying degrees for the past 11 years, but 2006 looks to be the worst yet.

Rain and snowfall are typically most prevalent during January and February, but a high-pressure system has been keeping storms away from Arizona. Both are needed to refill the water reservoirs and keep forests healthy; if they continue to dry out under the current warm weather, it could cause an earlier fire season than usual.

The lack of rain will also increase farmers' demand on the water supply earlier in the year than usual and may cause problems if the summer monsoons also fail to arrive.