Monsoon Maps

We wrapped up this year’s monsoon with one last round of rain last week, too late to save my corn crop but boosting season totals. Arizona State University maintains a marvelous set of maps tracing the progress of the rainy season in both New Mexico and Arizona. Based on those graphics it appears the eastern half of New Mexico benefited most from this year’s monsoon and almost all of New Mexico did better than most of Arizona. The whole Southwest had at least average precip, however, which is excellent news after too many years of drought. It would be nice to see a wetter cycle set in again for a few years.

The rain was heavy and early in southeastern Arizona and along the Mogollon Plateau. Tucson had its wettest July on record with nearly seven inches that month, most of it in a few very sudden and intense storms. Seventeen hikers were stranded by a flash flood at Tanque Verde Falls on July 23 and nine or ten were killed when a flash flood swept through a canyon northeast of Phoenix after a storm dumped 1.5 inches on the mountains above in an hour.

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