El Niño is a weather pattern characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific. The consequences of the warmer water pose a serious threat to communities across the country, including Arizona. For Arizonans, that means a wetter (rain or snow) winter and spring, and increased flood risk.
Summer typically brings wildfires to many western states, including Arizona. While Arizona had a fairly quiet 2015 fire season (1540 wildfires, which burned just over 158,000 acres), California’s drought contributed to an active wildfire season, with more than 838,000 acres burned.