October 23, 2015

AZ WEEK: El Niño to Bring Colder Days, Rain to Arizona

Occasional weather pattern warms Pacific Ocean, has global implications.

This year’s El Niño is expected to be one of the strongest on record. What this means for Arizona is a much wetter winter.

What is El Niño?

A warming in the equatorial Pacific Ocean that is at least a half degree Celsius above normal.

“That doesn’t sound like a lot, but even strong El Niños are only greater than a degree and a half,” said Ken Drozd, from the National Weather Service in Tucson.

Th warming causes more winter storms in the southern U.S. The time frame is December through March.

Arizona Week Friday looks at the implications for climate and agriculture in the state.

On the program:

  • Host Lorraine Rivera interviews Ken Drozd from the National Weather Service in Tucson, on what the climate pattern means for Tucson.
  • El Niño has long- and short-term implications for climate conditions. Michael Crimmins, an associate professor in the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, explains.
  • Can Arizona get too much rain? Arizona Week travels to the Bonita Bean Farm north of Willcox to ask farmer Tedd Haas.
  • An inside look at a bean's journey from farm to table. It starts with 90 days of growing followed by a trip to the bean plant.
  • Arizona Science Desk Producer Sara Hammond explains why the rain Tucson saw this week was not related to El Niño.
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