With strong high pressure centered directly over Arizona for the next several days, we will experience minimal chances for showers or thunderstorms and unusually hot weather (especially Tuesday and Wednesday). This is due to the heat dome above us and sinking air motions which tend to dry the air and stabilize the atmosphere. The high temperatures in the Prescott area will climb into the upper 90s and will feel uncomfortable along with the relatively moist air that is residual in the air after recent rains. At lower elevations across Arizona, excessive heat warnings are in effect for this week (see www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/). By this coming weekend, the high will hopefully weaken and wobble a bit northward into northern Arizona, bringing gradual cooling and moist easterly flow back across the area in the upper atmosphere. Low-level moist air will also gradually return and bring increasing chances for thunderstorms for the coming weekend and into next week.
So far, it has been a great monsoon! Anywhere from 3”-8” of rain were reported around the Quad City area in just 2 weeks. Some of the higher terrain of northern Arizona have received even more rain, with the San Francisco Peaks receiving over 11”. The rain has brought welcome drought relief and cooler temperatures, and the area has been greening up nicely! The outlook from the Climate Prediction Center is that (more likely than not) we will continue to see wetter-than normal conditions for the remainder of the monsoon (www.cpc.noaa.gov). However, statistically speaking based on past observations, we are more likely to have a drier-than-normal month of August if July is wetter-than-normal. Here’s hoping that we beat the odds and continue to have a wet monsoon! We need it…