PHOENIX – for arizona, the monsoon season officially begins June 15th and ends September 30th.
This means that as of August 10, the state is halfway through the 2022 monsoon season.
Here’s what you should know about the 2022 monsoon season and what experts say will affect the Grand Canyon State.
Wait a minute. Monsoon now has a start and end date?
According to the University of Arizona’s Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) program website, in 2008 officials with the National Weather Service decided to consider a period from June 15 to September 30 as US southwest monsoon season.
Prior to 2008, a different standard was used, based on dew points being above a certain level for three days or more.
What causes the monsoon season?
According to officials at the National Weather Service’s Flagstaff Office, the term “monsoon” describes “large-scale wind shifts that carry humid tropical air to arid desert locations such as the Southwestern United States.”
“Intense warming of land over Mexico and the southwestern United States in the early summer months produces the low-level wind shifts. Moisture is beginning to be carried away from the Gulf of California and the eastern Pacific (the two main sources of monsoonal moisture in northern Arizona). These winds carry moisture northward to Mexico and the American Southwest,” reads part of the NWS website.
Was there a forecast of what the 2022 monsoon season would look like?
In May 2022, experts predicted above-average rainfall for the southern half of Arizona.
“The Climate Prediction Center’s precipitation outlook for this monsoon favors equal odds for near, below, or above normal precipitation throughout Arizona,” officials said in the video. “However, chances of precipitation tend to be above average throughout part of south-central Arizona, from Phoenix south to Tucson.
According to the Monsoon Outlook, NWS officials said the 2021 monsoon season was the ninth wettest since 1895 and that most of the state had rainfall well above average.
Continue reading: Arizona’s 2022 monsoon season is expected to be above average – good news for state agriculture
So how are we doing so far?
On August 10, we spoke to Tom Frieders of the National Weather Service about the 2022 monsoon season.
“Two years ago it was a real dry season.  was much wetter than 2020. This year, for the state of Arizona as a whole, there are many areas that are well above normal for perceptions of the season so far. So we’re looking really good,” Frieders said.
Frieders said so far, areas in northern and eastern Arizona, along with Flagstaff, have been hit the hardest by storms, with some areas receiving up to 400% more rainfall.
In the Phoenix area, the average rainfall at Sky Harbor Airport measures 1.25 inches, which is right where it should be.
“So we get into this pattern where we have high pressure in the northeast of the area, and that’s pumping in — it’s kind of flowing east through Arizona,” Frieders said. “We’ve been persistent in this pattern throughout this monsoon season, so we had a risk of thunderstorms almost daily.”
Frieders says it doesn’t look like the storms will abate anytime soon and predicts the rest of August will have a good chance of rain.
It feels like there has been a lot of lightning in this monsoon season…
According to our meteorologist Krystal Ortiz, Arizona has struck about 300,000 lightning bolts so far during the monsoon season, citing data from the National Weather Service. The lightning count for an average monsoon season is about 280,000.
The Phoenix area saw 4,505 lightning strikes this monsoon season, compared to the average tally of 3,122.
The 2022 blitz number so far seems high, but there have been seasons with even higher numbers. Ortiz said on July 26, 2006 that the Phoenix area had about 3,700 lightning strikes that day alone. For the entire season this year, NWS data shows the Phoenix area recorded 14,108 lightning strikes.
The last year that the Phoenix area had an above-average number of lightning strikes was 2018 with 7,663.
You can check the latest weather conditions by visiting the FOX 10 Phoenix Weather Pageor download the free FOX 10 weather app available at Apple iOS and Android.
Satellite and radar image
Be prepared and stay safe during the monsoons
“Most residents of the valley know how quickly and violently storms can move in and out, bringing high winds, dust, rain and flash flooding. These storms can cause disruptions to water, electricity and gas supplies,” said Glendale Fire Brigade Captain Ashley Losch.
GFD reminds residents how to prepare and stay safe:
- Have flashlights with extra batteries ready.
- Do you have foods that can be prepared without the need for cooking or refrigeration.
- Have at least one gallon of clean water for each person in the household.
- Emergency power supply for anyone who needs power for a medical device.
- Backup power supply for mobile phones that do not need to be charged.
- Keep a first aid kit ready and accessible.
- Never drive into areas with running water; It takes less than 10 inches to wash away a car.
- Avoid flooded areas such as B. car washes.
- If the water rises, seek higher ground.
- Do not approach failed power lines, the ground can be live up to 200 feet.
- Keep pets indoors during storms.
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