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Watering The Seeds

by Nick Coons
Feb 9, 2005

I know I wrote about this only a few weeks ago, but I think it deserves another mention, especially in a new light. Several months back, I said that we were going to have heavy rains this coming winter, and apparently that has happened. I have another prediction to make, but this one is not good.

We've had wonderful weather recently. Some of the resevoirs that were down to only 5% of their capacity after this long eight-year drought have now been refilled to about 80%. That's a tremendous amount of water! While driving on the Loop-101 in Scottsdale you can see the desert, once brown and covered only in sparse vegetation now has grass that looks almost like a professionally-maintained golf course. This is true all over the state. It's beginning to look a lot like the green that I remember when I was younger.

This wet season should continue for another month or two. And then April, May, and June are generally our dry months for the year before the monsoon

A season in Arizona of high winds and moisture, normally during July, August, and September. The Arizona Monsoon begins officially after the third consecutive day of the dew point reaching 55 degrees or higher, indicating higher humidity. During the monsoon, dust storms are typical, and rainfall is increased, causing flash floods.

hits. With very little to no rain during those months, all of this newly-grown vegetation dries out. And what's another word for dry vegetation when summer is approaching? Fuel.

For the past three years we've had awful forest fires; the largest in the state's history, in fact. I remember last year driving on SR87 in the middle of the night as the Willow Fire burnt all around us. The flashing signs on the side of the road nearly screaming "DO NOT STOP!" And all of this because of the drought.

So here's my prediction. I think that this year we may continue our trend of forest fires. As this particular weather pattern is a bit new to us, it's hard to predict. The one thing that we can hope for is that we'll at least see light sprinkling throughout our dry months.

Of course, the other thing we can hope for is people not tossing their cigarettes and glass trash out the window while driving down the highways. I would like to think it's possible for people to restrain, but I think our best bet is on hoping for the extra rain.

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