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9:05 PM Tue, Jan. 22nd

Near-record heat coming to Kingman area, experts say

Kingman-area residents should brace themselves for near-record heat during the next several weeks.

The news should come as no surprise to Kingman residents who sweated through triple-digit temperatures Tuesday for the first time this year.

It was 105 on Tuesday.

"It's going to be one hot summer, particularly in June and to a lesser degree in July and August," Arizona State University geography professor Randy Cerveny said.

"The nice thing about the heating is that it tends to help get precipitation into the area, so we're calling for near normal precipitation (over the summer)."

Cerveny said he based his predictions on information from the Climate Prediction Center in Silver Spring, Md.

"Unfortunately, we don't have a good prediction tool for the monsoon to determine how active it may be," said Heather Orow, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Las Vegas.

Information supplied by the ASU Office of Climatology indicates average summer temperatures and rainfall amounts for Kingman are: June, high of 91.6 degrees, low 62.8 and 0.26 inch of rain; July, high 95.9, low 69.3 and 1.08 inches of rain; and August, high 93.9, low 67.4 and 1.44 inches of rain.

Orow said surface temperatures are cooling in the eastern Pacific Ocean, indicating the onset of a La Nina weather cycle.

"The thing is, El Nino and La Nina don't have a strong connection to our summer weather," Cerveny said.

"What we're seeing now in the eastern Pacific indicates we could have a dry fall and winter."

Winter storms during March tracked mainly to the north of Arizona, carrying their precipitation into Utah and Colorado.

A ridge of high pressure remained over Arizona and dictated those storm tracks, Cerveny said.

Northwest Arizona got a bit more moisture than normal in April with Kingman receiving 0.6 inch, compared to a normal 0.46 inch.

Storms moved further south in April, crossing the northern reaches of Arizona and bringing that welcome moisture, Cerveny said.

However, it was not enough to alleviate the severe drought designation for northwest Arizona put out in the Palmer Drought Index.

The monsoon normally begins in the Tucson area in early July and moves northward, reaching Kingman around July 10.

"Precipitation should be near normal, and monsoon moisture doesn't really soak in, so I don't see a lot of relief for your area this summer," Cerveny said.

The weekend forecast includes highs in the 90s and lows in the 60s.