It has been 130 days since it has rained in Phoenix. One Hundred And Thirty.
That stretches back to mid-October that we experienced the odd phenomena of water falling from the sky. It has been four months of blue sky, sunshine, lies by weather forecasters, and a complete bust on the snow season in Flagstaff.
Sure it may be pleasant to always go outside to sunshine and warm weather, but ticking in the back of the mind is f-i-r-e…. this is going to be a colossal fire season in this state, one of the first times that there is going to be high danger of major fires both in the burnt desert lowlands and the tinderbox forest. Earlier this month, the February Fire burned more than 4000 acres just a few miles form our little hamlet of Strawberry– this was one of the earliest forest fires ever (usually they start in June). In 2004 the Willow Fire burned over 100,000 acres, engulfing the Mazaztal Wilderness Area, and about one major river system away from approaching our cabin. In 2002 it was the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, the biggest in the state, that ate up more than 450,000 acres.
Some predictions suggest we may not even see appreciable precipitation until the summer, and we may very well likely see simultaneous fires in the state on the scale of the big ones in the last few years.
So who is hogging all the moisture! We need it bad. It’s been nothing but sun and virga (the rain that falls but never touches the earth).