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Arizona Monsoons

July 26, 2017

Climate change is making Arizona’s monsoons more severe.


Todd Morris CC BY-Sa 2.0 via flickrA

Arizona’s monsoons make for a dramatic show of light. (Todd Morris CC BY-SA, 2.0 via flickr)


Predicting future monsoons. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Annual, torrential rains known as monsoons are most often associated with India. But parts of the United States also experience monsoons, including the central and southwest portions of Arizona, home to major cities and military bases. In the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, University of Arizona atmospheric scientist Christopher Castro and his colleagues report that climate change has made the monsoon storms there less frequent but far more intense than they were just sixty years ago.

CHRISTOPHER CASTRO (University of Arizona):

Why they’re more intense is that they have more water vapor to work with to create stronger storms once they start to grow and organize.


The study was partly funded by the Department of Defense, in an effort to protect military assets in the area from future climatic threats. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Story by Bob Hirshon