Monsoon

monsoon

Arizona’s Monsoon

Photo courtesy of Philip Tarrant
Photo courtesy of Philip Tarrant

Arizona resides within the northern extent of the North American Monsoon. The monsoon season typically begins in early June when active thunderstorms build in central and southern Mexico and then move toward the International Border into Arizona. The monsoon is a season where the dry, westerly winds that typically persist through fall, winter and spring shift to moist, southerly winds. The incoming monsoonal moisture helps build thunderstorm activity across the state.

Terminology: The term “monsoon” refers to a seasonal time of year where thunderstorms are more likely to occur. A monsoon is NOT a thunderstorm, but the monsoon season can help build thunderstorms.

Monsoon thunderstorm activity accounts for roughly half of the annual precipitation in central and northern Arizona, and two-thirds to three-fourths of the annual precipitation in southern Arizona. The short-lived, intense monsoon thunderstorms can often cause flash flooding in areas of steep terrain, low-lying roads, or normally dry washes. Lightning, hail, dust storms, and strong winds are common during the monsoon season.

Basics of the Arizona Monsoon

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SPC legend

Outlook Day 1 (today)

Outlook Day 2 (tomorrow)

Outlook Day 3 (next day)

 

Total Monsoon Precipitation (to date)

Monsoon daily dewpoint tracker for Phoenix

 

Average Daily Dewpoint

Monsoon daily dewpoint tracker for Phoenix

Monsoon daily dewpoint tracker for Tucson

Monsoon daily dewpoint tracker for Flagstaff

 

Arizona Regional WRF Model Forecasts

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Total Precipitable Water
Monsoon daily dewpoint tracker for Flagstaff
500mb height, wind, vorticity
NAMHRRRGFS

500mb height

 

700mb height, wind, relative humidity
NAMHRRRGFS

700mb height

 

850mb temperature, relative humidity, wind
NAMHRRRGFS

850mb height

 

2021 Monsoon Review

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NWS Southern Arizona Dust Storm Workshops

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Monsoon Literature

Arizona and the North American Monsoon System Crimmons
Understanding the Southwest Monsoon Guido

Long Term Changes of Transient Inverted Troughs Lahmers, et al