- It’s hot this week, but temperatures are cooling a little
- Chances of monsoon moisture continue to grow through Saturday
- Be careful of flash floods and lightning
- Enjoy the rain!
- Read more...
Thanks to Dr. Mark Sinclair for his weekly forecasts the past couple of months!
Hot temperatures will cool by a few degrees this week. Today’s high will be near 95, but high temperatures will cool down to near 90 by Sunday. Morning lows will be in the upper 60s. At the same time, we will experience a gradual increase in moisture this week, leading to an increasing chance of mainly afternoon and early evening thunderstorms today through the coming weekend. Thunderstorms will be slow-moving (about 5 mph toward the W or SW), and generally short-lived (less than one hour in duration), but capable of locally heavy rain, strong gusty winds, small hail, and cloud-to-ground lightning.
Navigate on the map to your location and click for a detailed local forecast.
As is typical for this time of year when the continent heats up, a dome of high pressure has now become entrenched over northern Arizona and southern Utah at mid and upper-levels of the atmosphere. At the surface, there is a thermal low pressure centered over western Arizona, southern Nevada, and eastern California. This is a very typical monsoonal flow pattern for the Southwestern U.S. The clockwise rotation at upper levels and the counter-clockwise rotation at low-levels will gradually circulate more humid air into our region, combining with an already hot an unstable airmass. The dew point temperatures are in the 40s today, but will likely rise into the 50s later this week, and possibly into the 60s next week. The result will be isolated thunderstorms today (although moisture is still a bit lacking), becoming more widely scattered through the coming week and into next week. The wind profile will be generally weak, so most of the storms will be single-cell or airmass storms. This is because the winds will generally not shear enough with height to organize stronger thunderstorms. Airmass storms are generally non-severe and slow moving, but can still produce locally heavy rainfall and strong, gusty winds from microbursts.
A microburst is a strong but localized downdraft from a thunderstorm caused by the fallout of precipitation particles and accelerated downward due to negative buoyancy (evaporation of rainfall cools the downdraft, making it more dense).
Curtis N. James, Ph.D.
Professor of Meteorology
Applied Aviation Sciences
3700 Willow Creek Road
Prescott, AZ 86301-3720
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