An Early Start to the Summer Monsoon?
By Don Day, Jr., Meteorologist
This past weekend brought badly needed rain to portions of southern Colorado and New Mexico that was not only very dry but were suffering from some early season wildfire activity. Another area of very dry conditions in western and central Texas also saw some heavy rain producing thunderstorms.
As the heat of the late spring and early summer develops in the deserts of Mexico and the Desert Southwest of the United States, moisture is naturally drawn into the region. This natural flow of moisture helps trigger shower and thunderstorm activity during the summer season, also known as the summer western monsoon season.
The dryness and above normal temperatures this past winter and spring in the southwestern states has helped to start the monsoon season a little earlier than normal. The excessive heat this spring and dry soils have encourage the moisture flow to start a bit early.
The graphic below shows possible rainfall through the middle part of June. Notice the blue and yellow areas in eastern New Mexico, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma. The blue and yellow shows the potential for much needed rain in the Southern Plains and Southern Rockies over the next two weeks.
Also, notice the areas of red and orange over Mexico. The finger of heavier rainfall in Mexico directed northward is a tell-tale sign of the summer monsoon season.
The drought conditions persisting in the Southern Plains and the Southern Rockies an early start to the summer monsoon would be great news for beef producers in those areas.