July 2018 SW Climate Podcast - A Little Better than Climatology - A Fast Start to "Monsoon" Precip and Optimism for the Season


The Monsoon is back! In the July edition of the CLIMAS Southwest Climate Podcast, Mike Crimmins and Zack Guido kick off with a recap of the role that Hurricane Bud played in driving storms and moisture into the Southwest on June 15-16, with a focus on the tropical moisture incursion that occurred during the transitional season. They even take a moment to discuss whether that event was the monsoon, or just - in Mike's words ' "monsoon-y". Next, they turn to the onset of the actual monsoon in terms of a few different metrics (precipitation, dewpoint, precipitable water), the atmospheric patterns that affect this onset, and how this shift has affected recent temperatures, wildfire season, and where and how precipitation is falling. They briefly discuss El Niño, as well as the seasonal outlooks that forecast a relatively rosy picture (i.e. wet) for Arizona and parts of New Mexico over the next few weeks and months.

They also settle on their friendly wager for this month - how many days in July will have "measurable precipitation" at the Tucson Airport, and what will be the July total. Mike guessed 10 days with rain and 3.5 inches, while Zack guessed 12 days with rain and 4 inches (as a note: as of July 11, the count stands at 4 days and 1.33 inches). Last month's bet was for the highest recorded temperature in June - Mike won with a guess of 109 (Zack guessed 110), while the actual value was 107.

Finally, regarding their guesses for the entire monsoon - Zack guessed 5.75" and Mike 7.5" for the Jun 15 - Sept 30 window. The current value is 1.61" (as of July 12) which is a bit ahead of average, but was augmented by the non-quite-monsoon activity July 15-16.

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