This year’s monsoon was a little lopsided for some. Heavy rains came in July, followed by a drying trend in August and September. Overall, the summer rainy season is going down in the record books as slightly above average. “In general for the state, I’d say we did really well this year,” says J.J. Brost, Science Officer for the National Weather Service in Tucson.
The official measurement station for Tucson rainfall is at the airport. The gauge there registered a total of 6.02 inches of rain between June 15 and September 30, which is the date range for the monsoon. Average rainfall for that period is 5.98 inches.
Statewide, rainfall totals depended on your location. In the eastern part of the state, particularly along the New Mexico border, rainfall was 75% of normal. In the central part of the state, including Pima, Pinal and Maricopa Counties, rainfall was at or slightly above normal. Western Arizona, particularly Yuma, received as much as 200% of normal rainfall. “Of course, that portion of the state normally gets less rain, so if you have one or two big storms, it’s really going to skew the statistics,” says Brost.
Selected rainfall totals in southern Arizona:
Tucson International Airport: 6.02" (average 5.98")
Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley: 11.30" (average 12.44")
Nogales Airport: 12.74" (average 10.58")
Douglas Airport: 6.50" (average 7.87")
Sierra Vista: 9.59" (average 8.44")
Picacho Peak: 3.12" (average 3.58")
Safford: 6.70" (average 4.42")
Willcox: 9.02" (average 6.45")
Organ Pipe National Monument: 5.10" (average 4.36")