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Active monsoon season keeps dust, wildfires at bay

As Arizona hits the midway point of this year’s monsoon season, the active storms have tamped down other weather phenomena the state is used to in the summer months. Cities such as Flagstaff and Show Low are experiencing above average rainfall, while other parts of the state have remained dry.

Matt Pace is a meteorologist with the state Department of Environmental Quality.    

“The majority of the state has gotten some rain, which has reduced the major wildfire threats, which is a huge plus," Pace said. "And it’s also stabilized some of the soil so we’re not seeing as much blowing dust as we normally would either."

Pace says while the rain is welcome, it does not help alleviate drought conditions in the state due to hot temperatures. 

"The main issue is we also get so hot during monsoon," he said. "And that results in the rain, that falls the day before, a lot of that just gets evaporated right back into the atmosphere. It doesn't necessarily help long-term drought conditions in a huge way."

Pace says Arizona could see a drier end to the monsoon season due to the early activity.

Nick Sanchez is a senior producer for KJZZ's The Show. He joined the station as an intern during the spring of 2022, where he developed a passion for audio storytelling in the Valley.