PHOENIX, Nov. 22 (UPI) — Wet weather patterns that ended droughts across much of the United States have skipped Arizona, worsening long-term conditions in that state, experts say.
A weak storm season in Arizona extends a dry streak going back to 1996, The Arizona Republic reported Sunday.
Vanishing water reserves have forced ranchers to sell livestock. Watering holes that sustain wildlife are drying up and much of the state faces conservation measures unless weather patterns change, the newspaper said.
“We really are sliding toward pretty serious drought conditions by spring,” University of Arizona climatologist Michael Crimmins said. “We’ve been working to keep everybody focused on drought, to get ready for an event like this. Well, here it is.”
Phoenix has had only 2.78 inches of rain since the beginning of the year, four inches below the 30-year average. With no measurable rain since Sept. 5, the city could experience its driest year on record, the Republic said.
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