Sep 102013
 
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Where to begin? First of all, I am not responsible for all the rain. I cannot make it stop. I really don’t want the rain to stop. Monsoon season will end on schedule. Yes, the National Weather Service has ordained that: “The Monsoon Season shall start on June 15th and end on September 30th.” Looking at the long-range outlooks, we may very well see rain off and on through the rest of the month. As TR told me yesterday, “This isn’t Oregon.” It’s not.

This weekend weather conditions may seem more like a typical Northern Arizona September. We should have sunnier skies and fewer showers. Personally, I think this will be the end of the massive rains. Still, the rest of the month could bring more moisture.

How wet has it been? Looking back to 1950, this is the second wettest monsoon season. I defined the season two ways, June-September and July-September. Either way, only 1986 beats this summer. So far this month, we have had 2.3 inches of rain at the Flagstaff Airport. That brings our June-September total to 14.76 inches. For the June-September period in 1986, the total was 20.64. We probably don’t have much of a chance to catch-up to that total.

Here is a histogram of rainfall totals for 1950-2013. Notice in the greater than 14 inches bucket there are only two years. Your perceptions are correct. It has been very wet. The peak is in the 6-8 inches bucket with 22 and 20 occurrences.

One note about the winter outlook. The winter(December-February) after the summer of 1986 was slightly wetter than average.

Histogram of precipitation totals at the Flagstaff Airport from 1950-2013 for summer periods of June-September and July-September.

Histogram of precipitation totals at the Flagstaff Airport from 1950-2013 for summer periods of June-September and July-September.

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