Arizona’s been socked in with a decade-long drought. But the National Weather in Phoenix says, conditions are the best they’ve been in five years. And Meteorologist Mark O’Malley says, you can thank this year’s monsoon rainfall in part for that improvement.

“We’ve seen improvements, especially in the past one to two years,”says O’ Malley. “Just a year, or more than a year ago, 60 to 70% of the state was in severe drought. That’s down to three percent now.”

O’Malley says this winter’s anticipated El Nino can only contribute to this positive trend. But he advises, just because dry conditions have eased up, the drought has not gone away. So continue conserving water because you never know what the future holds weather-wise.

O’Malley says, this year’s monsoon rainfall totaled 3.29” at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, making this is the 35th wettest monsoon on record.

–Barbara Villa