It's dry heat before monsoon time

2011-06-15T00:00:00Z 2011-08-24T17:59:44Z It's dry heat before monsoon timeBy Tom Beal Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 15, 2011 12:00 am  • 

Welcome to the monsoon season, which officially starts today.

This period, from June 15 to Sept. 15, is when we traditionally receive half our annual rainfall total.

There are no flash-flood warnings or severe thunderstorm watches in effect.

The air, in fact, is quite dry. Relative humidities have been in single digits as of late, with readings at times in the 1 percent range.

"It's about as dry as you can be. When you have 1 percent humidity, you don't have very far to fall," said J.J. Brost, science and operations officer at the National Weather Service in Tucson.

This is not unusual, he noted. June is usually hot and dry.

It will remain that way. High temperatures should be in the 100s for the foreseeable future.

The dew point, which tells us when the air is moist enough for storms to develop, is in no danger of approaching the 54-degree level at which it needs to stay for three days in order to signal the actual onset of monsoon conditions.

Monday at 6 p.m., it was -11.

That's 11 with a minus in front of it.

So to recap:

Monsoon season is here.

It might rain today, but not anywhere near here.

It might rain here sometime, but not this week, probably not this month.

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Contact reporter Tom Beal at or 573-4158.

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