Monsoon ends, El Niño on the way

The monsoon season officially has ended in Arizona.

However, this winter could bring another rainy season as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announces the onset of another El Niño weather event.

A large low-pressure system ushered in windy, cooler and drier fall-like weather this week, prompting the National Weather Service to confirm the end of the monsoon. Wind is out of the southwest, another indicator.

The monsoon typically begins in early July and ends in mid-September. The Weather Service disagreed with some other forecasters about when the monsoon started this year.

At the same time that the National Weather Service made the call on the end of the monsoon, its NOAA counterparts announced the onset of a weak El Niño in the Pacific Ocean. This periodic warming in sea surface temperatures typically brings above-average precipitation and temperatures to Arizona during the winter.

The El Niño could strengthen into a moderate event by winter, forecasters said.

The last El Niño occurred only two winters ago, causing widespread flooding in Yavapai

County.

Joanna Dodder

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