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June 16, 2022

UArizona monsoon experts available

TUCSON, Ariz. – As the heat ramps up, so does anticipation for rain.

Monsoon season in the Southwest typically runs from June 15 to Sept. 30. In 2020, the region experienced an exceptionally dry monsoon season, but in 2021, Tucson saw the third wettest monsoon and the wettest July on record.

This year, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center is forecasting slightly above average monsoon activity for June, July and August.

"There's some indication in the models that the monsoon might start early and be more active in the early part of the season," said University of Arizona climatologist Michael Crimmins. "It might be like what happened last year where it started out strong then kind of petered out. After Aug. 15, there was a tiny bit of tropical activity, then the rest of September was pretty quiet. That could be the case this year. The models do suggest below average rainfall for the later part of the season."

Crimmins and other UArizona monsoon experts are available for interviews.

Michael Crimmins is a climate scientist in the Department of Environmental Science. He is also co-creator of the Southwest Monsoon Fantasy Forecasts game, which lets the public put their monsoon knowledge to the test by estimating monthly rainfall totals throughout the season. He is co-director of the volunteer precipitation monitoring program and is the creator of MyRAINge Log, which allows ranchers and land managers to collect, manage and use precipitation observations to support management decisions.

Zack Guido is an assistant research professor in the Arizona Institutes for Resilient Environments and Societies and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. Guido is co-creator of the Southwest Monsoon Fantasy Forecasts game. He also studies how people adapt to and cope with environmental stressors, and the role of weather and climate information in decision making.

Don Falk is a professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment. He can discuss the relationship between the monsoon and wildfires, and how variation in the monsoon affects post-fire recovery.

Thomas Meixner is head of the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences and studies urban green infrastructure – such as vegetated stormwater basins and rainwater harvesting – and how it could help minimize monsoon flooding and make the city greener.


Media contact:
Mikayla Mace Kelley
University Communications

The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top 50 public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2020 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $761 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 66 leading public and private research universities in the U.S. It benefits the state with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.

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Arizona Institutes for Resilience Institute of the Environment