By John Simpson

WOW! Perhaps “wow” is all I need to say to describe what we witnessed weatherwise this past July 2021. Let’s dive right into the data. I recorded an incredible 10.43” of rain for July 2021, well above my 11-year average of 3.48.” July 2021 did quite a bit to increase that 11-year average. About 6” of that rain came within 72 hours during the weekend of the 23rd. Twenty-three of the thirty-one days in July had some rain fall from the sky at my place. July 2021 rainfall was double what I recorded the entire 2020 calendar year (last year was my driest of the past 11 years). July 2021 is my wettest month since I started taking records in 2010, and is double my second wettest month, which is July 2017, when I recorded 5.20” of rain. Well, I must make a correction to that last sentence. At the time of this writing on August 15th, I have recorded 5.81” of rain for August 2021, with two weeks left to go for the month. So, August 2021 is now my second wettest month so far as this incredible monsoon of 2021 continues.

However, I will write about August in the October 2021 issue. Back to July. The Tucson airport recorded a record 8.06” of rain for July, which is its wettest month since rainfall record began in 1895. That’s right, July 2021 was the wettest month in Tucson history (at the official location). According to data, the part of Vail from Wentworth and Sahuarita, through Del Lago, and North into the Rincon foothills, was probably the premier hot spot for rain this July in the Tucson Metro area, although a couple regions in the Catalina foothills came in with similar rainfall amounts. However, the area in Vail I just described is much larger. Ten to twelve inches of rain fell, with locally higher amounts. See for reported rainfall near your area. On the temperature side, July 2021 was below average and the coolest July since 2012. The average high temperature was 3.0 degrees lover than average and the low temperature was 1.8 degrees lower than average. The airport had two back-to-back days with highs only in the 70’s, which has only happened about a dozen times in July since the late 1880s. The drought level has also subsided substantially and the desert is incredibly green, some of the greenest I have seen in my thirty-three years here. The Pantano Wash flowed quite often in July, quite violently during the weekend of the 23rd when large rain amounts fell over an extensive area. Unfortunately, flooding and other water related issues have hurt people and property.

For example, a chunk of Andrada Road washed away. There are many other statistics I could list but those can bee looked up at the National Weather service Tucson’s page(s) listed below. For next month, I will report on August, which is already wetter than average with two weeks to go at the time of this writing as previously mentioned.

NWS Tucson home page –
NWS Tucson July Climate report –
NWS Tucson on Facebook –

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 mster’s degree in Atmospheric Physics from the University of Arizona. He loves exploring the outdoors with his family and photographing weather and the beauty of southern Arizona.

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