2020 monsoon season fades away in Arizona with historically low rainfall
PHOENIX – The monsoon storm season in Arizona comes to an end Wednesday, leaving behind almost no trace of its existence.
“We’re closing out probably the worst monsoon that most of us in Arizona have ever seen,” University of Arizona climatologist Mike Crimmins told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday.
Monsoon season is defined as June 15-Sept. 30.
Metro Phoenix had two days of rain – July 24 with a tenth of an inch, and Aug. 20 with nine-tenths of an inch.
The official gauge at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport collected exactly 1 inch of rain during the season, adding up to the 12th-driest storm period locally since 1896. The average is 2.71 inches.
There was humidity, but other factors that contribute to storms didn’t join the party.
“We had all these moving parts to the monsoon that just didn’t sync up long enough to give us sustained activity,” Crimmins said.
The dry, hot conditions are racing toward a record for most days of at least 100 degrees. Tuesday’s high of 102 degrees was No. 132 on the year. The mark of 143 days at that temperature or higher was set in 1989, according to the National Weather Service.
The high in Phoenix this afternoon reached 102°F, which is 7 degrees above normal. This is also now day 132 with a high of 100+ °F this year. 11 more days and we will tie the record set in 1989. Certainly possible.
— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) September 30, 2020
Phoenix set a record for hottest summer with an average daily temperature of 96.7 degrees June through August.
“If we look at the whole state … it will be the driest and hottest in Arizona,” Crimmins said.
The weather bureau near Flagstaff said the official gauge at the airport had a record-low 1.78 inches. The gauge at Tucson Airport finished with 1.62 inches, just behind the low of 1.59 inches that fell in 1924.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.