A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Monsoon Season

For months, Arizonans have been sitting wondering if their beloved monsoon season will ever get here. Phoenix, Arizona broke record temperatures this summer mainly due to climate change.

Climate change has become more relevant as the years have gone on. It is starting to affect cities in the United States and around the world. Climate change is a change in global or regional climate patterns. Fox 10 Phoenix says, “Certainly when you’re thinking about the Phoenix area, it’s been pretty meager, so kinda disappointing,” said Austin Jamison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. When saying this, Jamison is explaining the severe drought that has been going on in Phoenix and how upsetting and dry it is. According to Azfamily, “Phoenix specifically has had a total of 5 inches of rain this year to date.” Phoenix has had to deal with a dry heat and temperatures that are sometimes way above average at 110 degrees or higher.

The dry heat in Arizona and the record temps are due to a huge amount of warm pressure systems moving across the state quite frequently. When the state doesn’t see too many low-pressure systems, it tends to bring less rain. The way the environment has been changing in just the past decade has affected the way that these patterns move. Phoenix hasn’t even seen much lightning lately! According to the National Weather Service, “The number of lightning strikes to-date across Arizona has been the lowest in the last 30 monsoon seasons.”

If you’re wondering why thunderstorms are vital to the environment, it is because if we don’t get enough rain then our reservoirs will get low and our plants won’t get any water. These points are important because they are key to life. According to ArizonaWaterFacts, “The Colorado River system, which supplies 36 percent of Arizona’s total water use, has experienced extensive drought conditions for the past 19 years.” The website also concludes, “This has resulted in Lake Mead dropping to historically low reservoir levels.”  Our reservoirs are going to dry out pretty quickly which won’t be good for us or the environment as this can also lead to fire dangers. According to Carbonbrief.org, “One of the most important ways that climate change can increase the risk of severe fires is by causing vegetation to dry out. When temperatures are warmer than average, rates of evaporation increase, causing moisture to be drawn out from plants on the land.”

So will the monsoon season ever come around, or is it going to leave people wondering if they’ll ever see rain again? This year has been a tough one and we wouldn’t want to make it worse by not having enough rain and most importantly water for the environment.