TUCSON – Record rain (0.76″) on Wednesday put the monsoon total in Tucson at 7.01″. This is the fifth year in-a-row that the City of Tucson has exceeded its monsoon average of 6.08″.
In addition, for the first time since the early 1980s, Tucson has picked up over 7.00″ of rain in three consecutive years.
Drought conditions remain across much of the State of Arizona and according to chief Meteorologist Matt Brode, this is in part due to fewer Winter storms over the past several years.
Abundant monsoon rain has the City of Tucson in a small yearly surplus, but we’ll need to pick up about another 3″ of rain through the end of the year to match our annual average of almost 12″ of rain.
Even though summer doesn’t officially end for a few more weeks, meteorological summer (June, July and August) is now in the record books.
While parts of Cochise County remain in a major surplus of summer rain – even despite a dry August – Tucson will go into the books hot and dry.
Here is a synopsis of summer 2013 at Tucson International Airport where records are kept.
A few afternoon storms fired-up across Southern Arizona on Monday but they were all East of Tucson.
After a blockbuster start to our monsoon, things have quieted down noticeably.
Your work week ahead will be characterized by hot temperatures, above the century mark, and limited storm activity.
More monsoon moisture tries to creep back into the region late Wednesday and into Thursday for a slightly better chance of afternoon storms.
Meanwhile, the Perseid Meteor shower is in its peak so if you’re a night owl be sure to check them out from 10 p.m. – 4 a.m. You could see up to 75 per hour!
Today marks the exact mid-point of the monsoon- as defined by its calendar start and stop dates.
With a lull in monsoon storms today, it’s a perfect time to assess how areas in Southern Arizona stand when it comes to summer rain.
With the exception of the Tucson International Airport, all reporting cities and towns have recorded above average rainfall.
Tucson is less than 0.10″ below average while places like Douglas have received over 13.00″ of rain since the start of the monsoon.
In fact, Douglas has seen the second wettest monsoon ever; with half of the season still remaining.
The monsoon should shutdown for the rest of the week with slight storm chances returning later in the weekend.
Meanwhile, the drier air will warm up more efficiently as temperatures begin to climb back into the upper 90s to near 100.
Here are some rainfall amounts courtesy of the NWS in Tucson.
It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the first day of August, and Tucson’s largest school district is headed back to the classroom.
If we consider the monsoon a season defined by dates (June 15th – September 30th), then we are almost halfway through with our summer rainy season.
Most locations are way ahead of their average rainfall to date.
Some spots – especially in Cochise County – are breaking all-time records for the wettest month ever.
So how does August look?
According to the CPC (Climate Prediction Center), the odds favor a warmer and wetter month as compared to average.
So if these projections verify, I would say monsoon 2013 was a success if you were hoping for widespread rain.
A severe storm plowed up I-19 and into Tucson today.
Check out the toppled power poles our reporter Sam Salzwadel captured on the South side of town.
Rain was heavy especially on the South & Northwest sides of town today.
The intersection of Country Club & Ajo picked up 1.81″ of rain, and a rain gauge in Oro Valley received 2.05″.
Here are some of the other rainfall amounts around the metro.
The monsoon is going into a low-grade pattern as we head into the weekend while high pressure sets-up shop overhead.
Dry air in July means hotter temperatures and triple digits are back in the forecast for the next several days.
Monsoon 2013 will take a little break, and perhaps this is welcome news for residents of Cochise County.
Here’s a staggering statistic to consider: 9.67″ of rain has fallen in Douglas during the month of July.
Enjoy your weekend and remember to stay hydrated as we return to ‘summer’
The final flood advisory for Central Pima county has expired leaving all of Southern Arizona advisory/watch/warning free for the first time in a long time.
So now that I have some down time let’s discuss monsoon 2013 and where we stand.
There are plenty of superlatives we can claim already.
Douglas, for example, has received over 8.00″ of rain during the first two weeks of July.
It is now the all-time wettest month for Douglas – and we are only halfway through. Portions of Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties have literally been washed away in the past two weeks.
Take a look at where some of SE Arizona cities sit for monsoon 2013 as compared to average. (Courtesy of the NWS)
As you can see, Hereford and Douglas really stand out while the remainder of the region is near average for rain.
One thing I find curious is that TIA, too, is above its rain average – while many ‘midtowners’ have noticed the lack of a good soaker.
So often is the case that, TIA (where rain records for Tucson are officially kept) seems to receive much less rain than other portions of Tucson.
Perhaps this is just a misnomer, but we can accurately claim that as of today, Tucson is above average for monsoon rain.
Okay, just when you thought it was safe to work on the blog a new flood advisory pops-up.
I’ll see you soon!
Have you been a bit disappointed lately with the lack of rain in midtown Tucson?
Would you belive me if I told you that this monsoon has been epic so far? Well it has, and I’ve got the proof.
As of today, Tucson (at the airport where records are kept) is way above average for July rain.
In fact we are at double in the rain department.
And if this wasn’t enough to wash away any doubt – check out the July rain in Douglas:
Nearly 700% of average for July.
So despite what you may consider a slow start to the monsoon, we are actually faring quite well.
I expect a bit of a downturn in rain chances from Friday through the weekend, but some signs are indicating another uptick as we head into the middle of next week.
Hopefully the daily round of storms works its way a bit farther to the north.
Here’s my Monday monsoon update.
We’re off to a good start this year when it comes to our monsoon rain. Nearly 1″ of rain fell at TIA on Friday, and way more out toward Vail.
We have two positive factors for the potential of heavy rain this week and one potentially negative.
I’ll address the ‘good’ first, good if you were hoping for rain.
1) Tropical Storm Erick
A very favorable factor is on our side if you like rain. Tropical Storm Erick is churning to the West off Baja in Mexico. Often times we get what’s called a ‘gulf surge’ from tropical storms – even when they’re well to our south. Essentially, mid level moisture travels up the Sea of Cortez and helps us in the rain category. We still need a ‘trigger” or a mechanism to lift this tropical moisture to create rain. Enter factor #2.
2) A disturbance moving from East to West.
Remember the definition of monsoon? A seasonal shift of the wind. While most of the year we look to the West for our weather, disturbances this time of year come from the East and can help lift our moist air to create the rain. A disturbance is moving our way and should help lift our moist air for good rain chances. In the following picture you can see an area of lower pressure to our Southeast- this would be our trigger.
I’ve seen this too many times during the summer months. Often times despite a ‘trigger’ and good moisture, we do NOT get good rain in the Desert. This can be a function of too much of a good thing.
Ample storms may fire-up, many miles away from Tucson, but they can weaken sending us only clouds. If we are left with leftover clouds, we do not get warm enough at the surface to destabilize the atmosphere for convection (aka storms).
So as of now, I think the two ‘good’ factors outweigh the one ‘bad’ one and parts of Southern Arizona get abundant rain this week. But keep in mind, as contrary as it may sound, waking up with sunshine is a good thing if you are hoping for rain!