By John Simpson
July 2019 was warmer than average and drier than average. A few fortunate spots in Arizona saw average to above-average rainfall but the overwhelming majority of the region was below average. The monsoon high pressure hung out closer than usual to southeast Arizona instead of near the four corners. This was partially responsible for our below-average rainfall and the third hottest July and third hottest calendar month the Tucson airport has ever recorded.
The Tucson airport was 3.3 degrees above average for July and only five days had highs below 100 degrees. On the precipitation side, the airport recorded 1.07 inches, which is well below its 30-year average of 2.25 inches for July. I recorded 1.86 inches in central Del Lago which is well below my 9-year average of 3.02 inches. The Vail area generally received between 1-2 inches of rain for July with the low 1-inch amounts in Mescal, Coyote Creek, and Kolb and I-10 and the higher 1.5-2-inch amounts just about everywhere else (source rainlog.org).
For the Tucson metro area, several parts saw well below 1 inch of rain, but two areas were the big winners. From downtown westward in the Tucson mountains, and the eastside around Lakeside and Lincoln Parks. Each of these areas had an individual storm (at different times) that dumped over two inches of rain, some spots over 2.5 inches. This one storm easily provided their June and July combined rainfall average. Other parts of the state that fared well compared to their July average is the southeast part of the Phoenix area and the overall winner, Bisbee, where 5-7 inches of rain fell in July.
The table below shows the National Weather Service’s official reporting stations in Arizona with July rainfall statistics. All locations were below average except Kingman, which had record rainfall on the last day of July.
Station Average July Rainfall (Inches) July 2019 Rainfall (Inches)
Tucson Airport 2.25 1.07
Douglas 2.95 2.05
Phoenix Airport 1.05 0.17
Yuma 0.29 Trace
Flagstaff 2.61 0.72
Winslow 1.04 0.20
Prescott 2.11 1.02
Kingman 0.75 1.33 (1.21 on July 31)
For next month I will report on August, which at the time of this writing on August 9th, has well below average rainfall so far for most of the Vail area, with the exception of Mescal, and on the north side along Old Spanish Trail in the Rincon Foothills. With 22 days left in the month, hopefully many areas will get caught up on rainfall.