June heat (copy)

The forecast calls for possible rain Friday, but it’s likely any storms will produce more dust than showers. The official start of the monsoon — June 15 — is still days away.

Some parts of Southern Arizona were treated to unusual early June storms Thursday and there is a good chance it will rain in Tucson Friday.

Moisture, unusual for this time of year, is surging north from the Gulf of California, according to Mike Cantin, chief of the Tucson office of the National Weather Service.

Clouds built over the Huachuca and Santa Rita mountains early Thursday. Mount Graham near Safford had already recorded a quarter inch of rain overnight Wednesday, Cantin said.

Tucson’s best chances for rain come Friday, with scattered thunderstorms in the forecast.

“We’re not going to get inches of rain, but any drops this time of year would be great,” Cantin said.

This is not the beginning of the monsoon, Cantin said. That wind shift has yet to take place and could be a couple of dry weeks away.

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The region will return to hot and dry beginning Sunday — though it won’t approach the extreme heat of earlier this week.

The thunderstorms carry some danger of dry lightning and dust storms, according to the Weather Service, which headlined its Thursday forecast story “thunder and dust.”

Reporter

Carmen started at the Star in 1981 and covers the aging population. She wrote “Mama’s Santos: An Arizona Life,” a book about the Mexican and Mexican-American experience in the Southwest through stories about her family. It won 11 awards.