Final downpour makes July a wet month 2015.08.05


July went out with a punctuation mark: 2.65 inches of rain, all in the course of an hour.

p.tree down"July was on track for fairly average precipitation," said Morenci weather observer George Isobar. "In fact, it was getting to be pretty dry the last few days of the month."

Then came the rainstorm July 29 that just wouldn't stop. Heavy rain, then a light shower, then another wave of the heavy stuff followed by a break, then another downpour.

The 2.65 drenching raised the monthly total to six inches, Isobar said, which makes it the sixth wettest July in the past 41 years. 

"We've had four Julys of the past that were in the seven-inch range, but the leader came in 1992 with 10.34 inches," Isobar said. "That was just a really wet month because the greatest rain in any single day was 2.48."

The recent deluge was the second greatest single day rain event for July, dwarfed by a much bigger flooding in 2008 when 4.77 was dumped on the area in one day.

Last month also featured a 1.54-inch storm. Take away the two big storms and there was less than two inches spread out over the month.

There were only four thunderstorms last month—none of them severe—as rough weather passed to the north and to the south.

"We've really had quite an amazing summer," Isobar said. "There were only two days in the 90s and eight in the upper 80s. And there were 14 days when it never got above 80. We really had a break in terms of temperature."

The high of 91° was recorded on two consecutive days—July 28 and 29. The low of 51° came on the morning of July 16. 

"That was the other half of the 'nice summer' equation—the cool mornings," Isobar said.

Whatever heat came during the day was wiped out by morning. There were 14 mornings that started off in the 50s. There was one of the hot summer morning temperatures of 72° at 7:30 a.m.—the kind of day when you know it's going to be miserable—and another at 70, but everything else brought a refreshing coolness.

Actually, Isobar pointed out, the morning that it was 72 only moved up to 75 for the daily high. 

"We've just been really fortunate this summer," he said. "I keep expecting it to catch up before fall comes."

The average monthly temperature came in at 70.7° which is 2.8° below the normal for July. Twenty days were below normal and the hottest day was only 6.0° above normal.

AUGUST—"July is typically a little hotter than August," Isobar said, "so maybe the nice summer will continue."

That's not to say that August can't be hot. In 1988, there were 15 days in the 90s. The year before that there were 12, the same as in 1993.

"There were also a few rare years with nothing in the 90s or else maybe just a single day," Isobar said. "Forget the temperature. The important thing is to hope for clear skies Aug. 11 and 12 for the annual Perseid meteor shower. That's what August is all about."