What’s That on the Horizon? Clouds?!

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monsoon clouds
Clouds were building north of Phoenix late Friday morning. Photo by Robert Roy Britt

UPDATED 6:30 p.m. — Phoenix set a record high today at 118 degrees, three degrees above the previous high for the date set in 1905, the National Weather Service reported. It comes on the heels of the third-warmest June on record for the city and a record-setting June heat wave.

Now this morning, clouds finally gathered on the horizon, a sign that monsoon moisture has moved into the area. By evening, scattered thunderstorms, gusty winds and some minor dust storms had kicked up.

“Today will be the hottest day for the foreseeable future, before increasing moisture leads to a gradual cooling trend through the weekend,” the NWS said today (Friday).

Today’s high was also three degrees above the forecast high today at Sky Harbor Airport of just 115 degrees (the predicted high was 113 at Deer Valley Airport in North Phoenix and 112 in Anthem). Humidity is in double digits (12 percent) and there’s a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms tonight.

By early evening, scattered thunderstorms had occurred in the mountains north of Phoenix and in the desert west of Mesa, and the NWS was calling for gusty winds and locally heavy rain in the east and southeast parts of the Valley. As storms moved across the metro area, rainfall was lighter.

Overnight lows will continue to be warm: 91 degrees Saturday morning at Sky Harbor, and 89 on Sunday morning. This is where North Phoenix residents see a notable difference. The lows for Anthem are expected to be 88 Saturday morning and 84 Sunday morning.

The chance of showers or thunderstorms stays at 20 percent Saturday and Sunday, and rises to 30 percent by Monday afternoon and evening.

Mondays’ predicted high is a mere 107 at Sky Harbor (105 at Deer Valley and Anthem).

The monsoon is not late. In most years it doesn’t kick in until after the 4th of July. And as always with storms during the monsoon, expect any that do develop to be geographically sporadic. Communities nearer the mountains, including parts of North Phoenix, tend to get more than their fair share of these storms, meteorologists say. But history shows a single storm can make a world of difference in any one location’s annual rainfall total.

Monsoon Science, Photos & Videos

 


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Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.

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