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Overnight storm helps Tucson top 8 inches of rain for July
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Overnight storm helps Tucson top 8 inches of rain for July

A heavy bolt of lightning hits in the foothills of the southern Rincon Mountains as an intense monsoon cell rolls into Vail on Friday night.

It’s official: More than eight inches of rain fell on Tucson in July.

That makes July 2021 the wettest month in Tucson since weather records started being kept here in 1894.

Friday night’s storm helped Tucson’s rainfall reach 8.06 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

That topped the 7.93 inches of rain recorded in August 1955, now the city’s second-wettest month on record.

In addition to breaking rainfall records, this monsoon season has been steadily improving drought conditions.

On Thursday, Tucson moved from “extreme drought” to “severe drought,” the Weather Service said.

“We’re still running behind, Emily Carpenter, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Tucson, said Saturday.

“It’s hard to believe with all of the green and all of the water in the normally dry washes and rivers, but it is still going to take some time to completely come out of it,” Carpenter said. “Any rainfall we get from here on out is certainly going to help.”

Flash flood warnings have also been a staple during this monsoon season.

The Weather Service here has issued 83 flash flood warnings so far. There were 18 such warnings last summer.

Even with the increase in flash floods, Tucson has been able to avoid severe flood damage to houses and buildings.

Improved infrastructure has helped tackle flood damage; road repair and fewer low-water crossing are likely the reasons for that, the Weather Service said.

Rain is expected to keep coming into the metro Tucson area as August begins, the Weather Service says.

There is a 15% to 20% chance of rain every day this week. But the monsoon is expected to be less active than it has been over the past few days.

Meanwhile, Marana has been dealing with an unpleasant result of the heavy rain: an overflow of 534,000 gallons of sewage.

While the city notes that the sewage is diluted with rain water, it has been collecting in a basin north of town.

The discovery happened July 25, when an overflow was spotted coming from a manhole at North Tangerine Farms Road and West Clark Farms Boulevard, town officials said in a news release.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality was notified, and crews worked to clean and disinfect the intersection. Marana Water staff has installed temporary fencing around the perimeter and will be gradually pumping down the retention basin and transferring the diluted sewage back into the sanitary sewer system, officials say.

Washes and canyons have been flowing strongly around Tucson after seeing the wettest monsoon season on record through July 25, according to the National Weather Service.

This video shows rushing water nearing its peak in Sabino Canyon the morning of Sunday, July 25.

Video courtesy Coronado National Forest.

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