Pros and Cons of the Active Monsoon Season
It is officially the Monsoon Season and the Southwest has seen significant rainfall over the past couple of weeks. The good news is that the hefty rainfall totals have been aiding in the drought conditions as well as the fire containment in the lower Four Corner region. However, some issues come with afternoon thunderstorms and heavy rain in some locations like the risk of flash flooding and for those that don’t see meaningful moisture, more wildfire starts.
Over the next several days, the Storm Prediction Center has highlighted the Four Corner region for general thunderstorms. Occasional strong storms with gusty winds are possible, but the organized severe weather risk remains low.
While thunderstorms and rainfall is needed and great news for some, it can also bring several other problems especially where dry conditions still persist. These locations desperately need the rainfall, but most of the rain that falls will evaporate before reaching the ground. This creates a problem known as “dry thunderstorms”. These are thunderstorms that produce lightning, which can strike the ground and actually spark up a new wildfire. For more on the fire danger outlooks, click here.
The risk for excessive rainfall and flooding continues through the beginning of the work week. The Weather Prediction Center has highlighted the potential for excessive rainfall for the next couple of days from the Mexico border into southern Wyoming.
Showers and thunderstorms will be diurnally driven as they have been the last few days, this means that showers and thunderstorms will fire up in the heat of the day and then die down shortly after sundown.
The next few days will be a rinse and repeat cycle in terms of timing and potential for rainfall. The Baron forecast model hints at pockets of heavy rain, an additional 1″ in isolated spots will be expected through the rest of the week.
New Mexico has far exceeded what they typically see in a 30 day period, with the capitol city of Albuquerque coming in at over half an inch higher than average as we close out June. While 1/2″ doesn’t sound like a whole lot to folks in the southeast, for the Southwest, this is substantial moisture.
Meanwhile, while the southern Four Corners are seeing a feast of rainfall, it is famine for the northern 4-Corners back into Nevada and California with below average precip over the last 30 days.
This year’s monsoon season is off to an active start! The extended forecast keeps moisture around the Four Corners Region through the beginning of July.
For more on the Monsoon Season and rain potential, join WeatherNation for the Western Regional forecast at :50 past the hour.