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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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10/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
Prescott records relatively dry monsoon
Wade Ward, Prescott Fire Department/Courtesy photo
Rescue workers search for a body in Granite Creek Aug. 26 after monsoon-related flooding.
Wade Ward, Prescott Fire Department/Courtesy photo
Rescue workers search for a body in Granite Creek Aug. 26 after monsoon-related flooding.
Joanna Dodder Nellans
The Daily Courier

This year's monsoon was wetter than normal just about everywhere in northern Arizona except measuring sites in Prescott and Castle Hot Springs.

In a National Weather Service list of 28 sites across the northern part of the state released Thursday, those two Yavapai County sites were the only sites that were drier than normal between June 15 and Sept. 30.

Four sites set all-time records for being their wettest monsoons: Bellemont, Page airport, Walnut Canyon National Monument and Wupatki National Monument.

McNary recorded the most rain of the 28 sites at 16.86 inches, although its average also is the highest at 10.81 inches. Wupatki's 11.46 inches of monsoon rains added up to 294 percent of its average, while the Page airport's 5.66 inches was 259 percent of average.

Prescott's measuring site at the Sundog wastewater treatment plant recorded 5.76 inches, or 71 percent of its average since city records began in 1898. That was its 6th driest monsoon in recorded history.

Yet just about five miles to the north, the Prescott airport reported 8.19 inches of rain, making it the 15th wettest monsoon since its records started in 1948.

The first monsoon rain hit Prescott a bit early this year on June 30. Tragically, that same storm blew south and caused an extreme wind shift that killed 19 of the city's Granite Mountain Hotshots while they were battling the Yarnell Hill wildfire about 20 miles away from their home base. The fire also burned more than 125 homes in Yarnell. The Sundog site recorded that rain on July 1 since its records cut off at 3 p.m. daily.

Another monsoon-related death occurred locally when a 47-year-old Prescott woman drowned in Granite Creek near Granite Creek Park in Prescott during a downpour Aug. 26.

The last monsoon rain for 2013 at Prescott's Sundog site was reported on Sept. 15.

Only one of the four months involved in the monsoon recorded above-average rains at the Sundog site. June tied a record for the driest June with zero precipitation; July recorded 120 percent of average with 3.44 inches; August was back down to 46 percent; and then September was 50 percent.

Strong thunderstorms hit the Prescott region on Sept. 3, with the Williamson Valley area reporting two inches of rain in just 30 minutes. One woman had to be rescued from her car when floodwaters swept it away.

Heavy rainfall on Sept. 10 caused localized flooding in part of Yarnell burned by the Yarnell Hill wildfire. While the Yarnell portion of the 8,400-acre burn area experienced several incidents of localized flooding, government emergency measures apparently helped prevent more severe flooding.

Record-low temperatures on Sept. 28-29 included 35 degrees at the Prescott airport Sept. 28, beating the previous record of 38 set in 1996. Cottonwood tied its record of 43 degrees set in 1982 on Sept. 28.

Then on Sept. 29, Bagdad set a record low of 42 degrees, breaking the record of 47 set in 1965.



Follow Joanna Dodder on Twitter @joannadodder.



Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, October 06, 2013
Article comment by: All Right

Hard to believe.
We recorded 17 inches at our house!
I know overall it was dry.


Posted: Sunday, October 06, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Steele

We used to get rainfall recorded and related to how much total we had accumulated for the year. I believe our 100 year average was around19,8 inches and I recall the past 10 years were around 14. That's not to healthy for trying to grow our population. And while CO2 is increasing, temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere have not increased over the past 10 years or so. And CO@ is still under.40 of one percent of our atmosphere. It
is more smoke and mirrors from the One Worlders at the UN.


Posted: Saturday, October 05, 2013
Article comment by: Hey again, Yeah, it was

Educate yourself on the difference between weather and climate. Not understanding the fundamental difference is what makes it difficult for you to understand the science behind global warming.

Posted: Saturday, October 05, 2013
Article comment by: Tongue-in-Cheek .

I have been complaining for years that the Sun Dog site is a dry island. I live up near Thumb Butte and I religiously record the rain fall and I was over 16" this season. Secondly, I have complained that the "so called" 105 year "average" is vert flawed, because the first 80 or more years was measured at the "THEN" downtown official site and only in relatively recent years was the idiot decision made to move the "OFFICIAL" site to Sun Dog. It is averaging apples to oranges. All one has to do is look at the vegetation around Sun Dog vs. downtown or ANY place south or southwest of that site and it is easy to tell precipitation is much greater with each few feet of elevation. GO FIGURE. MOVE THE DAMN SITE BACK DOWNTOWN where Prescott lives. AND THE AIRPORT, grass has trouble growing there.

Posted: Saturday, October 05, 2013
Article comment by: Hey - Yeah it Was

When you take into account that EVERY OTHER NATION in the whole world believes in global warming. And when you take into account just who is paying for the global-warming denier studies (i.e. oil companies?) maybe at some point you would figure out just what is true about global warming.

And yet you just smugly accept the view of media paid by these same special interests. And you just smugly put down anyone else that believes the actual truth.


Posted: Saturday, October 05, 2013
Article comment by: Yeah, it was

Well, gee, do you think these "measuring spots" and other data sources could also be the reason why so many have been made to look like total fools with regard to all this "global warming" nonsense as well? Of course the global warming cult also has ideological madness driving their agenda. But we'll go on hearing from those who think that the "Prescott area" had a "dry" monsoon season and that man is causing the globe to heat up.

Oh, how about that massive snow storm in the northern U.S. this week? And the temps in Prescott the past week or so, brrrrr...must be more global warming. Oops, I forgot, we're not supposed to look at all the evidence, we're supposed to listen to the politically motivated "scientific consensus" on these matters. The Earth is FLAT I telly ya'...


Posted: Saturday, October 05, 2013
Article comment by: Meaningless Information

Everyone who lives in Prescott knows or should know that this year’s monsoon was one of the wettest in a long time. Using one site to measure rainfall for an entire area is just bad science. Titling this article “Prescott records relatively dry monsoon” is just bad reporting.



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