Rare Rain, Low Temperatures To Follow First Arizona Monsoon Dust Storm

Published: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 - 9:24am
Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 11:40am
National Hurricane Center
Jun 13, 2018

The first monsoon storm will in Arizona arrive earlier than usual this year, thanks to Tropical Storm Bud off the coast of Baja California. 

Meteorologist Mark O’Malley with the National Weather Service said it will bring rain to much of Arizona and relief from the triple digit highs.

“Friday and Saturday, temperatures will struggle to get into the lower 90s,” he said. “That’s quite a difference from closer to 110 degrees.”

It’s rare to see significant rain so early in the season.

“2000 was the last time and before that 1986,” he recalled.  “So, it really only happens about once every 15 years. The other years are more typical where the pattern doesn’t get set in until around July 4.”

Looking at weather models, O’Malley said the pattern appears to be another anomaly.

“This is just a temporary shift in the pattern,” he said. “So don’t put any stock in us getting this moisture here now, [and] say ‘Oh it’s going to be a terrific monsoon season.’ We really can’t say that.”

With the storm, O’Malley said drivers should expect to pull off the road at any time over the next few days as the associated cold front pushes a wall of dust ahead of the storm.

During the monsoons, Arizona’s Department of Transportation and Department of Public Safety have launched the “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” campaign. It is a reminder for drivers to get off the road and turn off headlights and tail lights when dust storms create low visibility.  

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