Monsoon Classroom: The Trapping High

What drives the Arizona Monsoon? The blog’s “Monsoon Classroom” breaks down the 5 main patterns that help fire up our Summer storm season.

The Trapping High pattern historically means lots of flooding and loud nights. Why? High pressure splits into two centers, which flank the Sonoran Desert. This opens the door for disturbances to enter & become trapped. The net result can lead to slow-moving thunderstorms capable of producing epic rain totals.

Courtesy: AZ Geologic Survey
Courtesy: AZ Geological Survey

While a rare pattern, the most recent example of the Trapping High goes back to 2006. Storms developed nightly between July 26th & August 1st, dumping as much as 8″ of rain on Sabino Canyon. The popular Tucson recreation area suffered millions of dollars worth of damage, as flood waters and rock slides wiped out trails and bridges.


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