Forecasters: Rainfall expected to be near normal

Rainfall amounts are expected to be near normal over the next several months, following a similar pattern in January and February, according to weather forecasters.

"For the next couple of weeks it looks like temperatures are going to drop a little bit and we will not get much precipitation," Andy Gorelow, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Las Vegas, said.

El Nino and La Nina, weather phenomena in the eastern Pacific Ocean that impact on Arizona, are almost nonexistent right now, Gorelow said.

That makes forecasting more difficult.

Easterly trade winds strengthen during La Nina.

Cold-water upwelling intensifies off the coasts of Ecuador and Peru and sea surface temperatures may fall by eight degrees.

Those condition usually confine warmer water and rainy weather to the western Pacific.

During El Nino, sea surface temperatures rise in the eastern Pacific and more moisture finds its way into Arizona, especially during the winter months.

Kingman receives an average of 1.39 inches of rain in March, .45 inches in April, .35 inches in May and .26 inches in June, according to information supplied by the Arizona State University Office of Climatology.

The National Climate Prediction Center in Silver Spring, Md.

forecasts average precipitation amounts for northwest Arizona during April, May and June, Gorelow said.

"We're in a weak La Nina pattern right now," Randy Cerveny, professor of geography at ASU, said.

"La Nina and El Nino have very weak relationships to our summertime situation and it's very hard to use them as predictors, which tends to make summer forecasting more a guessing game than a scientific exercise."

Storms in the Pacific normally take a track into Canada at this time of year, but are further southward now, he said.

"For the next two weeks, there's a chance of storms coming through northern Arizona," Cerveny said.

"As we get into April and May it will dry out and heat up."

Cerveny said there is a strong likelihood of above normal temperatures during the next 90 days.

But the chance for normal precipitation amounts during that time is "near nil," he said.

Kingman received 1.24 inches of precipitation in January and .93 inches in February.

Normal amounts for those months are 1.28 and 1.07 inches, respectively.

Cerveny said he does not expect monthly rainfall totals for Kingman to return to normal levels until the arrival of the monsoon in mid-July.