As you’ve probably noticed, the weather has gone from only cold to a bit more rainy and cloudy more often than normal lately. The Southwest is beginning to feel like the Pacific Northwest when it comes to the weather, and it’s likely to continue on this way for the rest of the winter and possibly spring, as well.
Why? The simple answer is El Niño. Here’s what that means and what you can expect as a Scottsdale resident.
What is El Niño?
We’ve heard about it for years, but not everyone really understands what El Niño is. You might be surprised to find that it’s not a weather system or even a storm. Instead, it’s an event that alters the weather in most areas.
It all starts when the water surrounding South America becomes warmer than usual. Instead of moving west, the warm water moves east. At the same time, trade winds start to weaken, eventually changing the pattern of tropical rainfall. This in turn affects most of the world’s weather, including Scottsdale’s. But it doesn’t affect all areas in the same way.
How does El Niño affect the weather in Arizona?
You can definitely expect this to be a wet winter, as you’ve probably already gathered. This is not the case everywhere, as some areas – such as the northern part of the country – actually get drier during El Niño. Additionally, take note that the storms stemming from El Niño are typically a little warmer than when it normally rains, which may be nice for anyone who wants a break from chilly winter temperatures (though even our coldest highs are only in the high 40s- tropical compared to most of the country!).
The extra rain is good news for us, because Lake Mead and the Colorado River will benefit from more rainfall than normal. That’s why it’s probably a good thing that the National Weather Service has predicted that El Niño’s increased precipitation has an 80 percent chance of lasting until spring.
How can you prepare for the rain this year?
Arizona residents can easily get prepared to handle a lot of rain in the winter. If you’ve been caught off guard by the excess precipitation, consider these tips on getting your Scottsdale home ready for the winter rain:
- Make sure your rain gutters are free of debris, such as leaves.
- Double check that all of your windows are closed, since you may have recently had them open to enjoy the beautiful fall and winter weather Arizona typically gets.
- Fill in any exterior gaps in your Scottsdale home that might let insects, rodents, or rain through.
- Replace any old weather stripping that surrounds your windows and doors to reduce the chance of rain getting inside.
- Check your homeowner’s insurance to see if it includes coverage for flooding; if not, consider getting flood insurance.
Once you are prepared for the rainy weather in Arizona, you can relax and enjoy it from inside your house with a hot cup of coffee or tea. If you are considering moving soon, a rainy day is the perfect time to browse Scottsdale homes for sale online!
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255