Monsoon kicks into gear

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by Meteorologist Royal Norman

Bio | Email | Follow: @RoyalNorman

azfamily.com

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 15 at 5:40 PM

PHOENIX -- While we had up to .75 inches of rain in some parts of the Valley last night, officially at Sky Harbor we got .05 inches of rain. It’s something. But we’re still well behind on our yearly rainfall, totaling only 1.37 inches for 2012. That’s nearly 3.5 inches behind our averages.

The good news is we’re seeing a bit of an upswing in the monsoon moisture for the next couple of days.

Thunderstorms are possible around metro Phoenix Wednesday night and become more likely into Thursday.

Also, we’re going to deal with a lot of clouds, so temperatures are going to be WAY down over the past couple of weeks. We’ll feature highs right around 100 degrees, which is below average, and lows in the 80s.

That’s good news considering the first two weeks of August were the hottest on record for the Valley. We were certainly due a little relief.

Yes, there was a lot of dust in the air Wednesday morning and there are two reasons. First, we had a pretty decent inversion form, which traps a layer of air near the ground. That usually happens mainly during the winter months. Also, because the atmosphere is so moist, dew points were in the 60s, and the dust particles actually becomes more visible. Here’s a quote from the EPA:

“High relative humidity can significantly increase the effect of pollution on visibility. Some particles, such as sulfates, accumulate water and grow to sizes at which they are more efficient at scattering light and creating haze. Poor summer visibility in the eastern U.S. is primarily the result of high sulfate concentrations exposed to high humidity levels.”
 

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