August was hot and wet; September rain is up in the air

We’re on a roll. June and July were wetter and hotter than average. August was no exception.

Total rainfall last month reached 2.71 inches, 0.32 of an inch above the norm. August 2017 was nearly an inch drier, according to the National Weather Service in Tucson.

The average monthly temperature of 86.5 degrees was also more than a full degree above average.

August started out hot: Tucson temps were above the norm for the first week and surpassed the average by 10 degrees on the 5th and 6th — when the monthly high topped out at 109.

Ten days reached triple digits. Luckily, we never broke 110.

Bouts of rain helped cool things off, keeping the average monthly temperature from reaching 2 degrees above normal like it had in June and July.

The daily average temperature dipped 4 degrees below normal on a few damp days.

Nearly a quarter of an inch fell on the 1st and again on the 7th. The 6th through the 11th saw a slew of showers across the city.

The 14th and the 24th brought nearly an inch of rain each day.

On the 22nd, hardly any rain fell at the airport, but a storm tore across the northwest side, knocking out power, uprooting trees and flooding streets and buildings. More than 2 inches of rain fell in the area that day, according to the rainlog.org website.

There’s only one month left in the official monsoon — the season officially begins June 15 and ends Sept. 30 — and we need 0.20 of an inch to reach the average monsoon total of 6.08 inches.

Can we get there?

“It’s a hit or miss for the last couple weeks of the season,” said Tucson NWS meteorologist Marc Singer.

This September is a month of transition, said University of Arizona climatologist Michael Crimmins. Tucson averages about 1.3 inches of rain in September, according to the NWS.

“There’s a hard edge to the moisture,” Crimmins said. As we transition out of the monsoon, that edge could continue sweeping back and forth across the region, drying things out or drawing in moisture.

“It will be a noisy transition on our way out,” Crimmins said, but compared to last year when things dried out in mid-August, “it will be more interesting.”

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