Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Last SlideNext Slide

If you were hoping the monsoon would make up for the dry start to the year in Phoenix, keep hoping.

The 2017 Arizona monsoon season isn’t off to a rousing start, rain-wise, but it has helped turn down the heat a bit.

Phoenix recorded 0.89 of an inch of rain at Sky Harbor Airport, the official reporting station for the city, in July. When you factor in a bone-dry second half of June (Arizona monsoon season starts on the June 15), the city has some catching up to do to even come out average.

According to National Weather Service numbers, Phoenix is 0.18 inch below average through this point in the season (which runs through Sept. 30). With just 3.3 inches of rain so far this year, Phoenix is 0.98 inch behind in that average as well.

Is that likely to improve?

The Climate Prediction Center outlook calls for a greater probability of above-normal rainfall through October. Just a few storms targeting the airport between now and Sept. 30 would turn things around.

While Phoenix has been relatively dry this season, other parts of the state have received abundant rain.

Tucson fared better

Tucson recorded its wettest July on record. The city had 6.8 inches of rain during July, which is 3.84 inches above normal. Even more astounding is that the July total puts Tucson above average for the entire season. Normal for the season is 6.08 inches.

Most of that rain came in a few intense storms.

The city got more rain in a one-hour period on July 15 than Phoenix got all month, according to the Tucson National Weather Service office. Between 10 and 11 a.m. July 15, Tucson’s airport recorded 1.36 inches of rain. The city also got 2.14 inches on July 28 and 29.

University of Arizona climatologist Mike Crimmins said several factors account for the difference between Phoenix and Tucson this summer, including location and luck.

Tucson normally receives more rain than Phoenix in large part because that city is closer to mountains where storms tend to form. So far this season much of the storm activity closest to Phoenix just hasn’t made it to the airport’s rain gauges.

Crimmins said the potential for rain has been present in Phoenix, but all of the elements necessary for a good soaking haven’t come together very often this summer.

“There was a bit of good activity around the fringes of the city and (precipitation) amounts look good there, but the airport missed much of that  activity,” he said. “The airport totals aren’t really all that bad either, but not quite as gangbusters as Tucson has been.”

Rain up north, too

Northern Arizona also has had an active monsoon season.

Flagstaff was well above normal for July with 4.6 inches of rain. Normal for the monsoon through July there is 2.82 inches.

Prescott received 4.52 inches in July (about 2 inches above normal) while Payson saw 6.94 (about 4 inches over average), according to the National Weather Service in Flagstaff.

On the other side of that coin, Yuma has received no measurable rain since the start of the Arizona monsoon season. But the average total for that city by this point is just 0.24 inch.

July 2017 by the numbers

After the blazing-hot start to the summer in June, Phoenix temperatures have moderated.

July tied for 19th-warmest for the month based on average temperature. Average temperature is determined by taking the average high and low and dividing by two.

The average temperature was 95 degrees. That was 0.2 degree above normal and 3.3 degrees below the record set in 2009.

Average high temperature was 106.2 degrees, 0.1 degree above normal and more than 3 degrees short of the record of 109.8 set in 1989.

The average low was 83.8 degrees, 0.3 degree above normal and 3.3 degrees below the record of 87.1 set in 2009.

Three daily temperature records were set in July. The high of 118 degrees on July 7 topped the mark for that date while the low on that date of 91 degrees tied the record for warmest minimum. The low of 95 on July 8 set a record for warmest minimum for the date.

  • Light rain in Chandler

    Light rain in Chandler

  • Driver gets stuck on flooded street

    Driver gets stuck on flooded street

  • Mesa Fire and Medical rescue in Apache Junction

    Mesa Fire and Medical rescue in Apache Junction

  • Apache Junction flooding

    Apache Junction flooding

  • Monsoon weather in downtown phoenix

    Monsoon weather in downtown phoenix

  • Rain in Phoenix

    Rain in Phoenix

  • Flooded street in Apache Junction

    Flooded street in Apache Junction

  • San Tan Heights flooding

    San Tan Heights flooding

  • Wash floods in San Tan Valley

    Wash floods in San Tan Valley

  • Water rescue Mesa

    Water rescue Mesa

  • Rain and rushing water in east Mesa

    Rain and rushing water in east Mesa

  • Ensenada Park in east Mesa

    Ensenada Park in east Mesa

  • Rain soaks Mesa neighborhood

    Rain soaks Mesa neighborhood

  • Dust storm moves toward the Phoenix area

    Dust storm moves toward the Phoenix area

  • Monsoon storm in Phoenix

    Monsoon storm in Phoenix

  • Pouring rain at Power and Brown roads in east Mesa July 20, 2017

    Pouring rain at Power and Brown roads in east Mesa July 20, 2017

  • Riding out a monsoon windstorm in Phoenix

    Riding out a monsoon windstorm in Phoenix

  • Images from Friday's Phoenix-area storm

    Images from Friday’s Phoenix-area storm

  • Monsoon storm approaches in far West Valley

    Monsoon storm approaches in far West Valley

  • Time-lapse of monsoon storm thunderhead building over Carefree

    Time-lapse of monsoon storm thunderhead building over Carefree

  • Time-lapse view of monsoon storm from Broadway curve in Phoenix

    Time-lapse view of monsoon storm from Broadway curve in Phoenix

  • Storm downs tree in Gold Canyon

    Storm downs tree in Gold Canyon

  • Watch a dust storm move across the East Valley

    Watch a dust storm move across the East Valley

  • Monsoon rains hit far West Valley

    Monsoon rains hit far West Valley

  • Clouds form over Mount Lemmon

    Clouds form over Mount Lemmon

  • Downtown Phoenix, July 15, 2017

    Downtown Phoenix, July 15, 2017

  • Surprise/Waddell monsoon storm

    Surprise/Waddell monsoon storm

READ MORE:

No timeline for Burton Barr Library reopening after flooding

Why is Phoenix’s official temperature taken at the airport?

Watch rescue of 2 people stranded in Arizona storm 

Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2wjePSL