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MONSOON 2021: Where does the moisture come from?

Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 4:02 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 7:13 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Contrary to popular belief, Monsoon is not an individual storm.

It’s an entire season and Arizona isn’t the only part of the world that experiences seasons like this.

The season that impacts the desert southwest is known as the North American Monsoon and it runs from Tuesday, June 15 through Sept. 30.

That is when we have a 180-degree shift in our prevailing winds.

Normally, weather moves from west to east. Dut during Monsoon, most of the weather moves east to west.

It is very unique to this part of the country. It helps bring in a lot of that moisture that can lead to showers and thunderstorms.

So why do we even have this Monsoon? It’s due to a large-scale pattern.

A tropical high starts to build across northern Mexico moves into the four corners area and starts to draw on moisture from the Gulf of Mexico.

That gets fed up the Sierra Madre Mountain range wrapped around a ridge of high pressure.

We also can tap into some tropical moisture at times from the eastern Pacific or through the Gulf of California. Both of these moisture sources help feed into our rain.

That warm buoyant air, which likes to rise quickly, mixes with the colder air aloft and that helps to trigger our thunderstorms.

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