When will metro Phoenix start seeing monsoon activity?

Jul 11, 2023, 10:41 AM | Updated: Jul 12, 2023, 5:48 am

A lady uses an umbrella for shade to combat high temperatures, Monday, July 10, 2023 in Phoenix, Ar...

(AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Will Valley residents have use for their umbrellas other than to shield them from the sun anytime soon?

“We do have increasing moisture,” Jessica Leffler of the National Weather Service in Phoenix told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday morning.

Leffler said metro Phoenix has an outside chance at seeing thunderstorms Tuesday, but the dry spell is likely to continue at least into next week.

The increasing moisture could create isolated thunderstorms in the high terrain of Gila County, she said. If storms develop and grow strong enough, they could push into the Valley on Tuesday afternoon or evening.

“And with that we have a very low chance, probably between 10 and 15% chance, that those thunderstorms might have potential to reach the Phoenix metro area,” she said.

Phoenix’s heat wave marches on

Rain or not, the Valley’s persistent extreme heat shows no signs of cooling off.

Tuesday was the 12th day in a row with a high temperature of 110 degrees or hotter at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (which the National Weather Service uses for its official city readings), tying the third-longest such streak. The record for consecutive 110-degree days in Phoenix is 18, set in 1974.

The highs are expected to tick up through the week and reach 117 over the weekend.

An excessive heat warning that started July 1 continued into a record-breaking 11th day on Tuesday and isn’t schedule to end until Tuesday after being extended multiple times.

When did it last rain in Phoenix?

Arizona’s monsoon season officially started June 15, but it’s been bone dry so far this year in the Phoenix area. March 22 is the last time more than trace amounts of rain were measured in the Valley, and May 18 is the last day with trace readings.

Leffler said Tuesday is the best chance to break the dry streak until next week, when some models show a high pressure system migrating closer to the area.

“And with that we might have the potential to get a little bit more moisture again, probably next week, midweek time frame, but still high uncertainty at that,” she said.

Monsoon starting in southern Arizona

Arizona’s monsoon activity usually starts in the southern part of the state, and this year is no different.

“Fortunately over the past week, we’ve seen quite a bit of lower-level moisture kind of push its way in to southeast Arizona, and that has really helped get some of the the storms going,” Chris Rasmussen of the National Weather Service in Tucson told KTAR News on Tuesday.

“I know it’s been somewhat of a delayed monsoon season as far as activity goes, but it’s definitely started kicking off some of the storms and getting more into the season.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

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When will metro Phoenix start seeing monsoon activity?