Monsoon moisture moved in very early this year. In fact, if the National Weather Service were using the “old” method of calculating when the monsoon starts, it would have been the 5th earliest start, June 21. June 21st was the first of three days in a row where the Dew Point was at least 54 degrees.
Now, the National Weather Service defines the Monsoon Season as June 15th to September 30th. I recorded 0.49” of rain, which is slightly above my 12-year average of 0.45.” I also reported 11 days where some rain fell out of the sky, even if was just a trace, which was a 12-year record at my place. The Tucson airport recorded 0.23” which is exactly it’s 30-year average. June rainfall for the Vail readership area increased as you went East and South. Lower 0.2 to 0.3 inch amounts fell in Rita Ranch. 0.5 inch amounts were common from the farmers market area to Rancho Del Lago. 1 inch rain amounts were reported from Coyote Creek to East of Vail Ranch down to New Tucson. Lastly, the Mescal area reported around 2 inches of rain. Much of the Tucson area was drier than Vail with widespread areas only reporting about 0.1” Higher 0.5 to 1 inch amounts were reported in the Catalina and Rincon foothills. Bisbee was the big winner for SE Arizona, which reported between 4-5” for June. See rainlog.org for amounts reported near your area.
On the temperature side, the Tucson Airport recorded the 5th warmest June since the 1880s, 3 degrees above average. The National Weather Service called for a better than average chance for above average rainfall and June was just that for most of Vail South and East, while much of Tucson was below average.
At the time of this writing on July 17th, July has been very disappointing rainfall wise for most of the area, with a few exceptions. I have only recorded 0.46” of rain the first 17 days of July, which is about the same amount I recorded in the last ½ of June, which is very unusual. The Tucson Airport and the Kolb and I-10 area has only recorded 0.04” of rain the first 17 days of July, which is very low, near record lows in fact. Much of Tucson has also recorded below ½ inch of rain. If it was not for the very active day of July 1st, all of the area would be severely below average.
The July 1st storm hit Rita Ranch and cut northwestward through the Catalina Foothills. Rita Ranch reported 1 inch rain amounts and 2 plus inch rain amounts were common in the western ½ of the Catalina Foothills. There has been plenty of humidity, clouds and stormy days ever since mid-June. However, the vast majority of the storms have been very small scale, reducing rain coverage in the area. Once again, areas South and East of Tucson have fared quite well the first ½ of July. For next month, I will give a full report for July and how August is going so far. To see all the stats the National Weather Service has for the monsoon, see the following site – https://www.weather.gov/twc/Monsoon.
John Simpson has lived in southern Arizona the past 33 years and Vail for 17 of those years. John has a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in Atmospheric Physics from the U of A. He loves exploring the outdoors with his family and photographing weather and the beauty of southern Arizona.