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Southern Arizona starts to recover from exceptional drought thanks to strong monsoon start

TUCSON (KVOA) - Southern Arizona has been under the strongest category of drought since early last year. With a strong start to monsoon, the area should soon show a bit of recovery.

It takes more than just a handful of good rainfalls to recover from such a bad drought.

"You really want to have a saturation process. You need to replenish the aquifers. You need to replenish the water tables," Chief Meteorologist Matt Brode said. "Heavy steady rains work and basically all kinds of frames, but it has to happen over a long period of time."

The drought is one of the reasons why Pima County has had so many flash flood warnings this year.

Soil that has not seen rain in a while is not as absorbent as regular soil, so heavy rainfalls over dry ground lead to flash flooding more often. This also causes problems on the roads.

"If you tend to drive through low-lying areas that do flood like we are seeing now, make sure to have an alternate route," News 4 Tucson Meteorologist Shea Sorenson said.

Overall, it is good we are seeing this much rain and we will likely see changes in the drought monitor if all this rain keeps up for Monsoon. 

Even with all this rain, we are still about three inches behind normal if you go back to the end of last year's Monsoon. 

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Daniel McFarland

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