It's a plop, plop, fizz fizz kind of monsoon - East Valley Tribune: Weather

It's a plop, plop, fizz fizz kind of monsoon

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Posted: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 6:11 pm | Updated: 8:49 am, Tue Aug 14, 2012.

The “mild” temperatures of July — during what weather officials have described as a more active monsoon compared to the last two years — might sound similar to the old Alka-Seltzer commercial: “Oh, what a relief it is.”

Temperatures remained in the low 100s, and the 110-plus pressing heat was pretty much nonexistent last month.

But after a week of August temperatures, it is obvious that such relief is being replaced with rising temperatures, heat advisories and heavy humidity that began on Monday. Temperatures are expected to be 110 or hotter at least until the middle of next week.

A strong high-pressure system that has moved into the Southwest from the Plains states and the Midwest will continue to bring hot weather and high temperatures as a heat advisory will remain in effect until Sunday.

The more active thunderstorms this monsoon have triggered more of the dust storms known as haboobs and a noticeable amount of rain that included nearly a half-inch throughout parts of the East Valley on July 28, according to the National Weather Service.

“The heat is taking over, and that’s natural, too,” ABC15 chief meteorologist Amber Sullins told the Tribune on Tuesday. “Breaks in the cooler temperatures come and the heat builds.”

Tuesday’s temperature of 112 about 4 p.m., tied a 107-year-old record from 1905, and the high for Wednesday is expected to be 113, Sullins said.

Sullins said that it’s hard to say what the reasons are for seeing a surge in the monsoon, but the large amount of dust storms during the last two years could have been due to dry winters and summers.

Valley residents, Sullins said, will likely see less rain than southern portions of the state such as Tucson and Yuma, which received 4.13 and 1.82 inches, respectively, in July. (*See Correction)

Comparably, the Valley saw just .96 of an inch of rain last month, although the next two months should be pretty normal in the way of rainfall in the Valley, Sullins said.

The aftermath of those storms do bring humidity, however; Tuesday’s humidity level was at 22 percent, according to the National Weather Service.

The high-pressure system that hovered over the Midwest and made things hotter there now is swirling its way back to the southwest and will stay here until at least until the middle of next week, bringing more heat with it, according to Marvin Percha, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.

There also is a 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms beginning on Wednesday evening with that chance lasting through Thursday with high temperatures of at least 110 and lows around 90 through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

Residents are warned to drink plenty of water throughout the week and limit time spent outdoors as well as keep pets inside as much as possible and provide them plenty of water.

Residents who work outside also are urged to take extra precautions by wearing lightweight and loose-fitting clothing and wide-brimmed hats and also drinking plenty of water.

“There are some indications that we can see some relief possibly by the middle of next week,” Percha said.



*CORRECTION (Aug. 9, 2012 -- 11:45 a.m.): The Tribune incorrectly reported data provided by ABC15 chief meteorologist Amber Sullins regarding rainfall numbers for the Valley and other regions of the state. This story has been updated to reflect the actual data and context Sullins provided for this story. The Tribune regrets the error.

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