Hurricanes could help bring Phoenix more rainPosted: Updated:
June is typically one of the driest months of the year in the Valley of the Sun, but that wasn't the case Friday morning as thunderstorms dropped drenching rains.
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Phoenix reported Sky Harbor International Airport received .03 of an inch of rain by early afternoon. This was the first measurable rain ever recorded for June 5.
The wet weather comes on the heels of an unusually rainy May, when Sky Harbor received 1.17 inches. What is typically the driest month of the year in Metro Phoenix ended up being the wettest thus far for 2015.
So what's up with this most recent rare rain? The tropical weather is partly to blame.
"It's already started to be a robust hurricane season in the eastern Pacific and we certainly have the potential for a similar situation to last year," said Arizona State climatologist Nancy Selover.
With a strengthening El Nino and light winds, very warm water is pooling off the coast of Mexico, which Selover said is quickly fueling hurricane development. Combine this with an area of low pressure over California, a weather feature normally seen during the winter months, and deep tropical moisture from Andres is being pulled into Arizona. This setup is creating thunderstorm activity.
According to Selover, tropical moisture doesn't usually track into Arizona this early in the year, but when it does, it can certainly produce flooding rains.
“This warm water isn't going away. Last year was the strongest hurricane season in the eastern pacific since the 90s and I anticipate that we could have a replay of that, and that moisture will get sucked up into our monsoon circulation,” said Selover.
Selover said it's possible the Valley could see a repeat performance of historic rains quite like what was seen during the end of monsoon 2014.
"There was the remnants of several hurricanes that came across for all three of those major events that we had in Phoenix, and it was definitely that tropical moisture," said Selover.
Selover suggested homeowners look into flood insurance and investigate flood prone areas.
"Be aware of what's the drainage around your property. Where's the standing water going to go?"
Remnants of Blanca, a category one hurricane off the coast of Mexico Friday afternoon, could help bring more rain to the Valley early next week.