After a slow start in June and a record-wet July, precipitation in much of the Southwest has been mostly absent since early August. The high-pressure ridge that helped hold Hurricane Harvey in place over Houston kept moisture from circulating into the Southwest. This year, the late-season monsoon has been particularly dry, with very few storms and limited tropical storm activity that might otherwise help boost seasonal totals
The 2017 monsoon started a bit later than average but more than made up that with numerous storms throughout much of July and early August. Tucson recorded its wettest July on record and second-wettest month on record, and it and many other stations across the region have already surpassed their normal cumulative values, with some even exceeding their seasonal (June 15 – Sept. 30) average.
July was the wettest July on record in Tucson, with the airport receiving 6.80 inches of rainfall, more than triple the average.
Forecasts favor above-average precipitation for all of the Rio Grande/Bravo Basin through October.
The official start of the monsoon was June 15, but widespread activity started relatively late this year, especially in southern Arizona. There, numerous storms in mid-July brought widespread and frequent precipitation activity, boosting the percent normal monsoon precipitation in several locations. New Mexico had a comparatively earlier start to monsoon activity, which is expected given the typical spatiotemporal progression of the monsoon, and has seen more steady and widespread monsoon activity, as evidenced by the percent of days with rain.
In this edition of the CLIMAS Southwest Climate Podcast - Mike Crimmins and Zack Guido sit down to discuss Southwestern weather & climate, including:
- The extended heat wave of June 2017 (and the near record heat for the first half of 2017 (Jan-Jun)) (1:00 - 15:00),
- The wildfires in the Southwest , and the role that a monsoon late arrival might have played (15:00-19:00)
- The Southwestern Monsoon - the components of the system, comparisons to other years, and what we might expect going forward (19:00-38:00)
Members of the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry's class of 2017-2018 Graduate Fellows are studying issues such as California's Owens Valley water conflict and human allomaternal care.
The California-based Fielding Graduate University is hosting a panel of Native Americans and climate experts who are working with tribes to measure the impact of climate change and come up with ways to adapt to it. Panelists include a number of professors and experts from the UA's Native Nations Climate Adaptation Program.
New UA research provides the best assessment of Greenland’s past temperatures, and knowing about the past is crucial for projecting the future of Greenland’s vast ice sheet.
David Sbarra, a professor of psychology at the UA, writes in an op-ed about how elected officials need to negotiate across party lines to reduce the danger of wildfires.