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Fire Weather and Monsoon Moisture in the Southwest

5 Jul 2022, 6:30 pm

The Monsoon season has been extremely active over New Mexico, southern Colorado, and eastern Arizona in the last few weeks. While additional moisture will be expected this week, the story is really of the haves and the have-nots of rainfall and the increased fire threat for some across the Four Corners.

Monsoon Moisture

New Mexico has seen a very wet June with the potential of heavy rain continuing today. Areas in the high country have seen over 4″ of rain in the last 7 days – incredibly impressive for the Desert Southwest! Up to an additional 1″ may be possible through this week.

The Weather Prediction Center has highlighted the potential for excessive rainfall over the next few days as additional moisture streams up in monsoonal flow. Due to the ground being relatively saturated from early rain this week, additional rainfall with lead to flooding concerns.

Timing

Showers and thunderstorms will continue to be diurnally driven. This means that showers and thunderstorms will fire up in the heat of the day and then die down shortly after sundown.

The next few days will be a rinse and repeat cycle in terms of timing and potential for rainfall.

Fire Threat

Unfortunately, many areas of the Southwest have not seen the beneficial monsoonal flow and are left dry with the fire threat. The SPC has highlighted the risk of fire danger in Nevada and Utah over the next couple of days.

The extended outlook from the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) shows good confidence in dry time across the Great Basin region, which will increase the fire threat further, but more wet conditions around the Four Corners from the Monsoon winds.

For more on the monsoon season and fire danger, join WeatherNation for the Western Regional forecast at :50 past the hour.

About the author
Taban Sharifi grew up in Southern California between Los Angeles and San Diego. She is a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) with the American Meteorological Society (AMS). She has a B.S. in Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Environmental Sciences with a minor in Environmental Systems and Society from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Go Bruins! While in school, Taban was a meteorology... Load More intern with NBC LA. There she helped forecast daily weather for the greater Los Angeles region and created a playbook to deploy weather sensors for NBC owned-and-operated stations across the country. Her first on-air job took her to San Angelo, Texas, where she was a morning meteorologist and co-anchor. Working in West Texas gave her knowledge and experience covering severe storms. From there, she moved to Palm Springs, California. People think forecasting in California is sunshine all the time, but with temperatures in the 120’s, wildfires, damaging winds, floodings, and earthquakes, the forecasting kept her very busy! She also worked there as a general assignment reporter and told community stories. Taban is excited for the challenge and opportunity to forecast nationally with WeatherNation. She also looks forward to exploring all that Colorado has to offer!