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Monsoon 2012 so far, issued by National Weather Service Tucson Arizona
2012 Monsoon so far
issued Tuesday July 17th

With 30% of the 2012 Monsoon in the books, it has been a pretty good one for most areas across southeast Arizona. This is a short recap on rainfall amounts across the area with data coming from NWS sites and sources like, CoCoRaHS and the Pima County Regional Flood Control District gages.


Lets start out with eastern Pima county which has been hit hard with widespread thunderstorm activity occurring on July 4th, 14th and 15th. Rainfall amounts have been very impressive with over 3 inches occurring in Oro Valley on the 4th, 1"-2" occurring in Oro Valley and Sabino Canyon area on the 14th, and widespread 0.50"-1.50" with localized 2"-3" occurring across most of the Tucson metro area on the 15th. Looking at the area wide rainfall totals for 2012 Monsoon, values generally ranged from 1"-3" with localized areas recording between 3.5"-5". The Tucson International Airport, the official recording site for Tucson, has recorded 3.85" so far during the 2012 Monsoon. This currently ranks as the second wettest June 15 to July 16 period on record, just shy of the record of 3.94" which occurred in 1919. Normal rainfall for June 15 to July 16 period is 1.04" Here are some other interesting facts for Tucson:

  • Record three straight days in July of half inch or more of rain at the airport, eclipsing the old record of 2 days which last occurred in 1972 (7/15-16).
  • July rainfall of 3.51" at the airport ranks as the 20th wettest July on record.
  • Prior to July rainfall, 2012 ranked as the 8th DRIEST on record. Now 2012 ranks as the 36th WETTEST to date with 4.53". Normal is 4.16".
  • On the temperature side, July has been cooler than normal with an average temperature of 86.6°, which is 1.2° below normal, and ranks as the 42nd coolest July to date. The average high temperature of 98.4° ranks as the 24th coolest on record. With the monsoon being active, overnight cloud cover has kept daily lows on the warm side. In fact, the average low temperature of 74.8° ranks as the 36th warmest on record

Southeast Pinal county - Most of the area has recorded between 1"-2". Picacho Peak total of 1.33" is almost an inch above normal for the monsoon. However across the far SE corner of the county, in areas from Saddlebrooke to Oracle, amounts are much higher ranging from 2"-5" with higher amounts of 6"-8" above 4500'.


Santa Cruz county - Rainfall totals range from 1.5" to 5" with the highest amounts being recorded east of an Elgin to Patagonia to Rio Rico line. Nogales International Airport has recorded 4.19", with normal to date being 2.41".


Graham county - Thunderstorm activity has been hit or miss across the county with totals ranging from 0.50" to 1.25" with localized amounts of 2"-3", especially across the southwest part of the county..

Greenlee county - Thunderstorm activity has been more numerous across the northern part of the county. Rainfall totals have been less than 1" across southern half of the county.

Cochise county - Feast or famine across the county with the southwest part of the county seeing the most rain, while across the southeast part of the county the monsoon has been mostly absent. In Sierra Vista, rainfall amounts ranged from 1.5"-4" while further south and in the Huachuca mountains, rainfall amounts ranged from 3"-6" with locally higher amounts near 8". This obviously has brought flash flooding to the Monument burn scar area. Across the northern half of the county, rainfall amounts ranged from 1"-3". The southeast part of the county has been the Monsoon loser so far with totals ranging from 0.50"-1.50". Douglas airport has recorded just under three-quarters of an inch /0.74"/ which is almost an inch below normal. This would rank as the 21st driest June 15 to July 16th period on record.

And finally central and western Pima county. Based on radar estimate rainfall, amounts across central Pima county range from 1"-3" with highest amounts south of Sells, while across western Pima county totals ranged from 0.25" to 1.50".
Will aim for another update to Monsoon 2012 rainfall around August 15th or earlier if warranted.

US Dept of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Weather Service
Tucson Weather Forecast Office
520 North Park Ave, Suite 304
Tucson, AZ 85719

Tel: (520) 670-6526

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