By John Simpson

Just like April 2022, May was warmer than average with no rain anywhere in the region. May is the driest month of the year, and my 12-year average May rainfall is a mere 0.05.” Seven of the past twelve Mays have yielded no rain at my place in central Del Lago, and my wettest May was 0.25” back in 2015. The Tucson airport’s 30-year May average rainfall is 0.20”, and this is the 25th May since 1895 with no rainfall.

On the temperature side, the airport recorded the 6th warmest May in Tucson history with the average high 4.1 degrees warmer than average and the average low 1.2 degrees warmer than average. For the entire spring season (March – May), the Tucson airport typically averages just 1.0” of rain. Spring is the driest season in the southwest, unlike much of the rest of the country where spring tends to be wet. The airport only received 0.19” of rain and I only received 0.35” for Spring 2022, with all rain occurring during March, while April and May were dry. Spring 2022 was the 5th warmest, and 11th driest, on record for Tucson. This hopefully ends the streak of boring spring monthly climate reports, since spring is typically lackluster weatherwise.

Now, we get into the monsoon months, and next month I will report on June. So far, at the time of this writing on June 22, monsoon moisture moved in very early this year. In fact, moisture and lightning with sporadic storms arrived during the first full week of June. Most of this was East of the Vail area. During the 2nd and 3rd weeks of June, hit and miss storms became more prevalent and some parts of Vail have already recorded over ½ inch of rain. The Bisbee area has picked up 2-3” of rain during the first 21 days of June. Let’s hope this monsoon is a good one, with limited damage. It will be hard to beat last year’s record rainfall levels, where parts of Vail exceeded 20” of rain during the monsoon alone.

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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