Arizona Paths is the most complete all about Arizona site, with tourist and tourism information, statistics, weather and climate, maps, business directory listings, and history and culture.

    Sign In

Tue Dec 12, 2017

Features >
  Articles >

Let It Snow, Rain, Pour, etc.

by Nick Coons
Jan 5, 2005

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two weeks, you know that we've received a huge amount of rain recently, you know that Oak Creek in Sedona has quickly risen from 2-feet in depth to 16-feet closing down the bridge and Tlaquepaque, and you know that the Salt River
Salt River(so'lt RI'-ve'r)

The Salt River runs through south Phoenix to the northern part of the state. It has been dammed up in various locations creating several lakes used for Arizona's boating enthusists. The river got its name for the salty taste of its water. This was caused by the enormous amount of Salt Cedar trees that bank the river. These trees have a salty taste to both their leaves and roots.

is again flowing. And the best thing about all of this -- I predicted it.

Okay, I didn't predict the specific events, but I did generalize that this winter was going to be extremely wet. And this prediction came in an article about four months ago as we were finishing up the monsoon.

The average rainfall in the Phoenix area is about 8" per year. Over the past eight years, we've been in a drought that has caused water shortages and has even caused lakes to almost completely evaporate. There is only a small amount of Roosevelt Lake
Roosevelt Lake(ROS-e'-ve'lt lak)

Roosevelt Lake spans 17,000 surface acres, with 89 miles of shoreline; this is the biggest lake in Central Arizona.

remaining, and other lakes are showing solid ground (and artifacts) that haven't been seen in 100 years since the lakes were first created by dams.

Here are a few interesting things to think about. During the course of this drought, we are approximately 20" behind. That's about 2.5" per year, which means that each year we've had rainfall of about 5.5", only about 2/3rds of normal.

In 2004, our rainfall was right around 8", which I believe is the first time in nearly a decade that we've hit normal rainfall levels. In addition, as this storm has continued throughout this week, we'll end up receiving around another 2". I think that's a good way to start the year, and I also think that we've hit the end of the drought. But I won't be so bold as to say that this storm is going to single-handedly rebound the missing 20".

If you get a chance and you're in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend visiting the Salt River
Salt River(so'lt RI'-ve'r)

The Salt River runs through south Phoenix to the northern part of the state. It has been dammed up in various locations creating several lakes used for Arizona's boating enthusists. The river got its name for the salty taste of its water. This was caused by the enormous amount of Salt Cedar trees that bank the river. These trees have a salty taste to both their leaves and roots.

. It should be flowing pretty heavily for the next couple of weeks as SRP continues to leave the floodgates open.

©Copyright 2001-2009, Arizona Paths
Glossary Site Map