Area missed by larger monsoon rains this season

By Curtis Riggs | October 8, 2008

Central Phoenix wettest
DESERT FOOTHILLS – Despite this summer’s monsoon season being ranked as one of the 10th wettest ever in parts of the Valley, rain gauges in and around Cave Creek and Carefree measured far less than a typical rainy season.

lightningA storm-monitoring gauge just west of Cave Creek Town Hall showed 3.54 inches of rain fell between late June and the end of September. Typically a dozen inches of rain falls in the area annually. Last year Monsoon totals were increased dramatically when several inches of rain fell in one storm on July 31.

“We only got two-thirds of what we normally get,” said Cave Creek Town Councilman Ernie Bunch. Many of the major storms went around the Desert Foothills this summer.

Town Councilman, and local weather watcher, Tom McGuire said the area did not receive the number of flood events it normally gets in a monsoon season.

“There was nearly a record breaker in Phoenix this year,” McGuire said. “While we had a good monsoon in Cave Creek, it was no record breaker.”

Just over five inches of rain fell at the Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area this rainy season and 6.26 inches fell in the Seven Springs area, which flows into Cave Creek wash. Nearly seven inches of rain fell at the monitoring location installed after the 2005 Cave Creek Complex Fire.

S.C.R.C.A. Supervisor John Gunn said, he was “very disgusted” with the amount of rain that fell at Spur Cross this summer.

“We need a good inch and a half in late August or September every year,” he said. “If you get too much, it just runs off.”

The Desert Foothills claim that it is one of the wettest places in the Valley did not hold up this year as many places in Phoenix and Tempe topped the local rainfall totals. One area in central Phoenix received just over eight inches of rain and 5.7 inches fell at Sky Harbor International Airport.