2010 precipitation: In with a bang, out with a whimper

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Last year, M&A’s Tucson station recorded nearly 11 inches of rainfall for the 12-month period starting on January 1. Despite high levels of winter precipitation — most notably in January and February — we still fell short of the annual 30-year average (12.17 inches) measured at the airport. Fortunately, the winter storms that hit Arizona refilled drought-ravaged reservoirs and eventually left hillsides blazing with wildflowers; in fact, by February, the Salt / Verde reservoir system was 98 percent full and snowpacks were almost 2.5 times the normal levels.* Rainfall at our Tucson gage was two to three times average levels during the winter months. However, the last few months of 2010 saw little precipitation.

M&A’s weather station features a tipping-bucket rain sensor and a datalogger. We have operated this station at our Tucson office since 1984. You can view real-time precipitation data online via our HydroGeoMetrics portal.

*M&A’s Arizona Water Policy Update includes an excellent recap on the impacts of the historic late-January storm.