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Tucson passes average annual rainfall total
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Tucson passes average annual rainfall total

Monsoon clouds clear as the sun sets near the Santa Catalina Mountains on Aug. 2, 2021.

Friday night’s storms helped Tucson pass its average annual rainfall total, making it the fourth wettest year to date on record.

As of 10:50 a.m. on Saturday, Tucson reached a total of 11.79 inches of rain this year, according to the National Weather Service. The yearly normal since 1991 has been 10.61 inches.

The wettest year to date was in 1905 with a total of 15.21 inches, the National Weather Service reported.

The Tucson International Airport recorded 1.60 inches of rain from midnight to 10:50 a.m. on Saturday, the National Weather Service said. This pushed the 2021 monsoon total to 10.75 inches, making it the fourth wettest monsoon on record for Tucson.

The top wettest monsoon on record was in 1964 with a total of 13.84 inches.

The Oro Valley area received half an inch to a quarter of an inch of rainfall in the past 24 hours, the National Weather Service said. Mount Lemmon recorded 0.79 inches of rain.

Maricopa County also received significant monsoon activity. Gila Bend declared a state of emergency due to severe flooding overnight, according to the town’s Facebook page. The American Red Cross was called in to help the community and the Gila Bend Community Center opened as a temporary shelter.

The Town of Gila Bend has also requested assistance from Maricopa County and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department.

The National Weather Service said Tucson shouldn’t expect to see the same kind of Saturday morning storms on Sunday. The best chances for storms on Sunday will come in the afternoon. There is a 30% to 40% chance of storms throughout Sunday afternoon.

As for next week’s forecast, the beginning of the week will be fairly active and Tucson will see average monsoon activity, the National Weather Service said. After Thursday, the weather should dry out a bit and have below average thunderstorm activity.

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Photos of the 2021 monsoon season storms, flooding, high water, rain and wind damage and water rescues by Arizona Daily Star photographers.

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