What's expected this monsoon season

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Inside the National Weather Service Phoenix Office, it’s the calm before the start of monsoon season.

“There’s nothing going on up here today,” said meteorologist Dan Leins, looking at radar on his computer.

Monsoon season officially begins Sunday. Staffing at the weather service will soon be increased, so extra eyes can monitor the extra activity this time of the year brings.

“Evening is typically the busiest time of the day; that’s when we see showers roll into the Valley,” said Leins.

These are showers that the desert desperately needs after 103 days without rain and less than an inch received so far this year. While faring better compared to California’s drought, Arizona’s conditions are still considered severe.

“I’ve been hearing about the drought since I can remember,” said Melissa Quillard, an Arizona native. “It’s definitely something that we need to be thinking about.”

Meteorologists expect our upcoming monsoon season to be fairly average but warmer. Also, current drought conditions could mean less rain and more dust.

“The ground is so dried out now as it is. That doesn’t really help thunderstorm development in the first place,” said Leins. “We may have to deal with more dust issues. We may not get the soaking rains or flash flooding every day; we may have to deal with more blowing dust.”