El Niño Brings Rain Late In The Season For Phoenix Area

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Tuesday, October 6, 2015 - 12:51pm
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(Photo courtesy of NOAA via climate.gov)
El Nino can disrupt typical seasonal weather patters. It is expected to bring cooler and wetter weather to the southwest.

While the monsoon season in Arizona is officially over, residents may have noticed the rain hasn’t got the memo.

Mike Crimmins, a climatologist at the University of Arizona, said the wet weather this late in the season is a result of a strong El Niño, which, while unusual, was predicted to happen.

“It’s not unusual related to an El Niño and I don’t think it was unforeseen," Crimmins said. "I think we were just hoping it would dry out more than it probably will this October."

He said the resulting moisture may mean a good year for local flora.

“This is that period of time in October where it could go either way and it looks like it could go wet, which would favor the growth of these lower desert plants," Crimmins said. "It could be a good wild flower season on the heels of that in January, February.”

This year’s El Niño was first felt last May, when early rains came before the dry summer.

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