Monsoon rains bring a bit of relief to drought stricken Navajo County

By L. Parsons

According Navajo County Flood Control authorities, the month of July was wetter than usual for some parts of the county even though rainfall was under the norms in other locations.

Holbrook has experienced a very wet July, according to the rain gauge data collected by Flood Control. This July, Holbrook received 4.21 inches of precipitation, while the same time last year saw just 0.35 inches. The town has already surpassed its total from last year, 5.91 inches, with a significantly higher 6.69 inches.

Joseph City had a moist July as well, as 1.07 inches fell compared to last year at 0.24 inches. The yearly total in 2016 was 5.44 inches, and Joseph City is on track to meet or exceed that total as it has already seen 3.07 inches seven months in to the year.

In July in Winslow, only four hundredths of an inch fell, according to the county rain gauge located there. On the other hand, the National Weather Service, which measures at Winslow Lindbergh Airport, reported 1.5 inches in July. That is a large difference, but any Winslow resident can attest to the fact that the rain falls and gathers more in some parts of the city than others.

For example, on July 29, Winslow citizens in the Taylor Town subdivision experienced flooded roadways and the Highway 87 underpass at Williamson Avenue also flooded. The rest of the town was not as drenched.

Rainfall for Winslow in July 2016, according to Navajo County, was 0.51 inches for the entire month. No National Weather Service information was available for last year. In all of 2016, Winslow saw 5.74 inches of precipitation. Currently, that number stands at 1.50 inches.

Snowflake exceeded last July’s total of 1.30 inches with 2.32 inches. The year to date total is 4.21 inches, which is normal for this time of year for Snowflake. The precipitation total last year was 8.55 inches, putting the area just shy of halfway to that number.

According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the moderate rainfall in July was enough to temporarily relieve drought conditions in much of the county. The long term drought status still includes Navajo County.

Despite the recent moisture, Stage One fire restrictions remain in effect.