Experts worry about lingering autumn color in Sabino Canyon
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Some areas of Arizona’s Sabino Canyon are still showing their fall colors in the winter month of January.
But experts say the colorful array of leaves isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Naturalist David Lazaroff said the colors are “pleasant to the eye but troubling to the soul,” and are a result of climate change, the Arizona Daily Star reported .
Prolonged drought conditions have left the canyon near Tucson bone dry for an unusually long period of time.
U.S. Geological Survey Research Hydrologist Chris Magirl said there has not been any flow in Sabino Creek since Sept. 14.
That means the waterway has been without flowing water for 113 days as of Friday.
Magirl said stream-flow records indicate this is the fifth-longest no-flow period on Sabino Creek since measurements began in 1932, with the other four occurring in recent decades. The longest period of continuous dry days was 165, ending in March 2006.
Magirl said it will take about an inch or more of rainfall, or snowmelt from the nearby Catalina Mountains, to get the creek flowing again.
The long-term outlook for the creek and vegetation in the canyon remains uncertain.
“No one can predict everything that’s coming,” Lazaroff said.
Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.tucson.com