Some monsoon moisture Tuesday helped bring the record-setting June heat to a cool close, and it’s not over yet.
The Tucson metro area will see increased chances of precipitation through the July Fourth weekend, with a 30 to 40% chance of rain each day in the Green Valley area beginning Wednesday.
Thunderstorm activity should increase throughout the week, National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Davis said Monday, as moisture building to the east gets pushed farther west into Southern Arizona.
Hurricane Enrique, downgraded to a tropical storm, also brought more moisture and increased chances for scattered storms in the area, Davis said.
“Right now, the current track is going to keep it just off the West Coast of Baja, and sometimes that can change, but it looks like it’ll largely stay away from the desert Southwest other than helping to bring some tropical moisture to the region,” he said.
Expect some scattered thunderstorms, largely concentrated in the mountain ranges east and south of the Green Valley area, Davis said. Though monsoon storms can be spotty, Davis said some areas could expect to see anywhere from a quarter-inch to two inches of rainfall through the week.
Rain-cooled air will also drop temperatures slightly this week throughout southeastern Arizona. Highs in Green Valley peaked Monday at 100, and will cool to the mid-80s and lower 90s for the rest of the week.
Davis said residents should be alert to hazardous road conditions due to reduced visibility, and should also be on the lookout for lightning and flash flooding.
“Keep an eye on the weather, especially this week, and any changes in terms of rainfall that may affect your plans for the day,” Davis said.
“There’s runoff issues that we get during the monsoon season, so just be aware of the potential for flooded washes, and that you may have to take another route on your way home,” he said.
The start of monsoon activity comes at a time when it’s sorely needed across southeastern Arizona to reduce wildfire danger and bring relief to extreme drought conditions. And with an earlier-than-normal arrival of moisture, Davis said predictions for the rest of the rainy season are looking up.
“It’s looking a lot better than it has. Overall for the season, we’re looking at above-normal precipitation right now, and we’re getting an earlier start than what we’ve typically seen in the past few years, with this deeper moisture moving in,” Davis said.
“And hopefully, we’ll look to some more tropical storms in the fall to really push those rainfall totals up.”