Winter is back!

Temps are dropping under 100°F and it is getting cold!

  Winter is back! Temps are dropping under 100°F and it is getting cold!


After today, Valley temps will take a dive

by Aric Johnson - Sept. 29, 2009 09:48 AM

The Arizona Republic

Forecasts for Valley temperatures continued to show a dramatic drop that will flirt with the high 80s on Friday - the first time the Valley has seen such temperatures since May - but rise again for the weekend.

The unseasonal warm temperatures will continue Tuesday, reaching about 104. The average is 95, according to the National Weather Service.

Then the temperatures will begin to slide as a low pressure system moves through the state. Wednesday expect a high near 96 and lows in the low 60s. The system will also generate winds that could reach 25 mph, said weather service meteorologist Chris Breckenridge.

As the low pressure system moves out, drier air will follow, Breckenridge said. On Thursday, highs should reach 91 and lows will drop to around 63 degrees. Friday expect sunny skies and temperatures hitting only 90. The last time the Valley felt those temperatures was May 22.

Saturday, temperatures should reach about 93, but Sunday should drop down to 89.

Source Valley is too dry to shed tears for end of monsoon

by John Faherty - Oct. 1, 2009 12:00 AM

The Arizona Republic

Goodbye and good riddance.

The 2009 monsoon, such as it was, is now officially over.

Its place in history is secure as the 10th-driest and the second-hottest. The rainfall from June 15 to Sept 30 officially totaled 0.87 of an inch, about one-third of average.

That measurement comes from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. But it was dry all across the Valley.

Gary Woodard, a University of Arizona hydrologist, analyzes monsoon precipitation.

He collected data from 175 rain gauges spread across the Valley. Because monsoon storms can hit one area hard while leaving things dry just a few miles away, the summer totals show some variation.

But only three gauges showed average or above-average rain this year. All the rest were below or well-below average.

"It was awful," Woodard said. "You can find little areas that appear normal, but not many."

The signature storms that typically define the season never really happened because the conditions needed for them didn't fall into place.

A primary ingredient for monsoon storms is a high-pressure system parked over the Four Corners area in northeastern Arizona.

In that location, the high pressure helps launch a chain of events that results in the intense thunderstorms in the Valley.

But the system never fell into place this year.

"Generally speaking, the monsoon high was often found farther south, to the south and east of Arizona," said Jaret Rogers of the National Weather Service.

In terms of yearly rain totals, the lack of monsoon moisture is more of a disappointment than a disaster because, although the summer has the lightning, it's the winter that brings the rain.

"The most significant rainfall we get is typically in the winter," Rogers said. "It's possible we can get this back."

But Woodard cautioned that although runoff from mountain snow supplies much of the water reserves for Arizona, the importance of summer rain should not be ignored.

"Monsoon rain helps diminish our summer demand for things like watering," he said. "Many people also think monsoon rain helps recharge groundwater."

The lack of rain this summer helped make things warmer. A monsoon storm typically lowers temperatures for a few days afterward.

That was missing this year, helping make July the hottest month ever recorded in the Valley.

The average daily temperature for the monsoon was a toasty 94.2 degrees. Only 2007 was warmer. That was another year with a below-average monsoon rain total.


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