ARIZONA NEWS

Don’t forget about Phoenix’s other extreme weather streak: 4 months without rain

Jul 18, 2023, 2:00 PM | Updated: Jul 19, 2023, 8:59 am

Two people drink water amid high temperatures in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday, July 17, 2023. Phoeni...

Phoenix is experiencing a record heat wave as well as a four-month streak with out rain. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The ongoing record streak of 110-degree days in Phoenix is just a blip when compared to the city’s four-month stretch without rain.

The last time precipitation was detected at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which the National Weather Service uses for the city’s official readings, was March 22. As of Tuesday, that was 118 days ago, Phoenix’s seventh-longest stretch without rain on record.

And don’t let Monday night’s monsoon-y activity fool you. Although high winds and dust whipped through the Valley and thunderstorms unloaded on Tucson, the Valley’s dry spell is expected to continue at least through the week.

“Doesn’t look like we’re going to see any chances really until at least the middle part … of the weekend, and probably not even until early next week, by the looks of it, at best,” meteorologist Alex Young of the National Weather Service in Phoenix told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday morning.

Monsoon hits southern Arizona first

The high-pressure system that’s been keeping the temperatures toasty — Phoenix reached at least 110 degrees for a record 19th consecutive day on Tuesday — also prevents cooling rain and clouds from bringing relief.

Southern Arizona saw its first big monsoon storm of the year Monday night, with Tucson seeing more than an inch of rain in some areas along with wind gusts in excess of 60 mph.

The wet stuff was recorded in parts of Cochise, Graham, Pima, Pinal and Santa Cruz counties.

When is it going to rain in Phoenix?

Metro Phoenix typically lags behind southern Arizona when it comes to the start of monsoon activity, and this year is no different.

“I would surmise that by Monday at the very least we’ll probably have a more favorable pattern for thunderstorm potential to get into the Valley,” Young said.

He warned, however, that it’s too early to say for sure if the Phoenix area can expect to see rain by next week.

“Being six days out at this point, that’s kind of far out to really pinpoint whether that’s going to be the case,” he said. “Weather patterns [are] looking just a little bit better maybe by the end of the week and early next week. So we’ll have to see how that evolves.”

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

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Don’t forget about Phoenix’s other extreme weather streak: 4 months without rain