Oct 032014

By Tammy Gray

Monsoon rains finally drenched Northern Arizona in August and September, dropping more than 4.5 inches in the Winslow area over the course two months.

The moisture raised the area’s total rainfall for the year from just 1.71 inches on July 31 to 6.24 inches on Sept. 30, according to Rainlog.org. While most of the rain arrived in increments of less than one-quarter inch in a day, there were two days in August and September in which more than an inch of rain was recorded. On Aug. 2, Winslow received 1.18 inches of rain, while on Sept. 27, a total of 1.06 inches fell. Other significant rainy days included Aug. 26, when .44 inch fell, and Aug. 12, when .58 inch of rainfall was recorded.

Despite the significant amount of rainfall in the last two months, precipitation totals are down compared to last year. The Winslow area had received a total of 7.42 inches by Sept. 30, 2013.

Holbrook received 1.13 inches of rainfall in August, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Data was not yet available for the month of September, but as of the end of August the Holbrook area had received 3.99 inches of rain for the year. That is down from the average historical rainfall of 6.94 inches during the first eight months of the year. This year Holbrook received more rain in March, with 1.39 inches recorded, than it did in July or August.

In Snowflake, the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network reports that a total of 5.42 inches of rain fell in August and September. That brings the total for the year to 10.15 inches, up from the 6.13 inches received during the same period last year.

Only one day during the months of August and September resulted in more than one inch of rain. On Sept. 28, the Snowflake area received 1.11 inches of rain. Other significant days included .56 inch on Aug. 3, .83 inch on Aug. 13 and .67 inch on Sept. 23.

A community collaborative rain gauge in Taylor reported much less rain than Snowflake, with a total of 3.99 inches falling in August and Sept. The rainfall nearly doubled the total for the year, however, bringing it to 8.7 inches. At this same time last year, Taylor had received 13.14 inches of rain. There were no days in which more than an inch of rainfall was reported, but .64 inch fell on Aug. 3 and .86 inch fell on Aug. 13.

The Arizona Department of Water Resources notes that the rainfall is likely to have a positive impact on the short-term drought outlook, but have little effect in the long-term. This is because significant snowpack is necessary to raise water levels in streams and reservoirs, and to relieve the long-term drought.

According to the latest drought status report, dated on Sept. 23, the majority of Navajo County remains in severe drought status, with a small portion of the southern county listed as experiencing moderate drought.