How has El Niño affected Monsoon 2015? Depends on your elevation.
As of August 17th, Tucson International Airport has recorded 3.33″ rainfall since the start of Monsoon 2015. While TIA sits slightly below average, other portions of Metro Tucson have seen above average rainfall. This includes Midtown Tucson & many sections of Oro Valley, which have recorded between 4-5″.
A gangbuster’s start to Monsoon 2015 continues to keep southern Cochise County in plus territory for rainfall.
The above map shows the percentage of average precipitation for the state, with 100% equaling average precip. Much of the High Country is close to 200% above normal Monsoon rainfall, while southwestern Arizona is under 50% of normal.
While the Monsoon officially ends on September 30th, southern Arizona has roughly 3 weeks of prime thunderstorm days remaining (based on dew points). Still time to add to these totals, especially if we can get a tropical influence from the eastern Pacific. El Niño does enhance the potential for tropical moisture entering the state, but keep in mind that last September was an anomaly. I would be surprised if history repeated itself.
How much rain has your backyard seen since June 15th? Feel free to post your totals in the comments section below.