Southwestern Monsoon 2023

Warren Faidley

May 7, 2006
Mos Isley Space Port
Figured it was time to start a thread about the 2023 SW US monsoon which should be coming to life over the next few weeks. Models are slowly routing moisture up through Mexico, although it's been my experience that models do not handle the initial RH surges into AZ very well. It does not look like anything worthy will occur for at least another 10+ days.

We've had a major greening event in SE and Central AZ over the last 6+ months and temperatures have been modest, so I'm assuming the (ADSPX) "Available Dust Storm Particle Index" is below average. (Just made that up). The soil RH content models are down right now. I'll take a trip soon to the problem dust beds between TUS and PHX to take a look. We did not have any serious, wide-spread "hard freezes" this winter, which also limits vegetation particles.

The upper air pattern is always impossible to forecast, especially with an El Niño lurking. Even seemingly benign SW flow can shunt moisture east and kill a monsoon quickly.
The weather patterns are so messed up this year that I really wonder about the monsoon. Hopefully it will come through, but who knows with this year's strange patterns? Suspect you are right about the dust, though a few hot dry windy days can sometimes change that pretty fast.
If anything, this spring has felt like some weird combination of an extended-spring & monsoon season rolled into one.
Its certainly been weird. But I also love rain and even more, been enjoying that part.
(now that nasty hailstorm I got hit by, that is deff not my thing. Unlike a hail-lover like Reed, I hate hail!)

Does make me wonder what actual monsoon season will bring? Again more rain than normal? Or will it instead go desert?
I guess only time will tell.
Rare #hailstorm strikes #Tucson, Arizona today (7-28-23). A few stones reached quarter size, but most were harmless noise-makers. Insurance companies are breathing a sigh of relief. Over 50k people in the Tucson area were without power at one time.

Looking like an easterly wave in the 500mb flow will add to the party brew this weekend into early next week.

From the local NWS area forecast discussion text this morning:

"The locally heavy rain threat and possibility of flash flooding will further increase Tuesday and Wednesday of next week as we get into a deep and rich monsoonal plume of moisture."

Flash flooding = not good ofcourse...
But I'm looking forward to some monsoon-fueled storms & cooler high temps next week. Hopefully a good lightning show or 2.
(also seems monsoon storms are more rain than large hail or violent weather, so a good thing there)
Here in southwest Colorado, the monsoon has been a total dud so far. During the recent "push" there were a few fairly strong but very isolated storms around here, but most of the real action was near and north of I-70. At our house in Pagosa Springs we had only .04" of rain the entire month of July, which should be one of our wetter months, and nothing so far in August. And now another period of dry weather coming in, with likely above normal temperatures, though thankfully not as hot as most of July.
Interesting. A bit different over here in my area.
While I wouldn't call it 'great', I did get a few nice lightning shows out of the monsoon this season...and one afternoon/evening that provided just over an inch of rain (mostly from a single storm)