How welcome is this week's wet weather?

Pretty welcome after a month in which humidity all but disappeared and a six-month period in which rain was mostly a distant rumor.

Tucson just came through its second-driest half-year on record in terms of rainfall, according to the June climate report of the National Weather Service.

The official airport rain gauge recorded 0.58 inch of rain for the entire six months.

The month of June, meanwhile, blew away the previous low-dew-point record. Average surface dew-point, the temperature at which moisture in air condenses into rain, was 24 degrees in June. The previous record was 26, and the average for the month is 36 degrees.

During the first three weeks of June, the dew point was 10 to 25 degrees below normal every day.

The dew point, which roughly parallels humidity readings, not only tells us when it might rain but also how easily things might burn.

June was very dry. Rain did not fall until June 30, ending a stretch of 81 consecutive days without rain - the fourth-longest dry period on record.

Things that burn - grasses, shrubs, trees - burned easily.

Temperatures were abnormally high. The monthly average high was 86.1 degrees, two degrees above normal, producing the 13th warmest June on record.

These conditions apparently produce madness. Why else would we be cheering for howling winds and flooding downpours?

Contact reporter Tom Beal at or 573-4158.