Wetter February brings relief to Mohave County

A wetter-than-normal February brought welcome relief for a parched Mohave County.

"We had a fair amount of high pressure, punctuated by storms underneath it," Arizona State University geography professor Randy Cerveny said.

"Late February and early March was pretty wet due to a big ridge of high pressure over much of the Southwest.

The storms we got helped in terms of drought conditions."

After receiving just .06 inch of precipitation in January, Kingman picked up 1.68 inches in February and another 0.78 inch in March.

Data supplied by the ASU Office of Climatology states normal precipitation totals for the first quarter of the year in Kingman are 1.28 inches in January, 1.07 inches in February, and 1.39 inches for March.

Temperatures were about 10 degrees above the average high in January.

The average high was 64.4 during a month when that figure usually is 54.2 degrees.

"We had high pressure dominating the area (in January) and that allowed for extra sunshine and an unseasonably mild air mass," National Weather Service meteorologist Charlie Schlott in Las Vegas said.

"As far as your extra precipitation in February, a couple of storm systems rolled in off the Pacific."

The rainfall in February and March was sufficient to relieve the drought situation for Kingman from "extreme," the highest category, to "moderate," which is next to the lowest, Cerveny said.

Drought in the context in which he spoke refers to agricultural interests and how much moisture is in the soil, Cerveny said.

The Kingman area can expect above normal temperatures and precipitation for the second quarter of the year, based on information from the Climate Prediction Center in Silver Springs, Md., Schlott said.

Average high and low temperatures and precipitation totals for Kingman during those months are: April, 71.3 and 44.4 with 0.46 inch; May, 81 and 53 with 0.35 inch; and June, 91.6 and 62.8 with 0.26 inch.

"Over the short term, look for temperatures to be above normal through Saturday," Schlott said.

"Starting Sunday it will turn windy and cooler with a chance for showers Sunday and Monday."

Cerveny said Climate Prediction Center projections for the monsoon months of July, August and September are for temperatures well above normal and near normal precipitation.

The monsoon in Arizona begins in the Tucson area around July 3 and works northward, reaching Kingman around July 13-14 if it is on schedule.

"The first storms are dry and tend to have a lot of dust in them," Cerveny said.

"But hopefully the fire danger will be lessened as additional moisture gets into the soil."