Monsoon moisture is here, for now, long-term outlook calls for more drought

Jul 24, 2020

Monsoon moisture is finally arriving in southwest Colorado. But the long-term outlook calls for more drought. KSUT's Mark Duggan explains:

The annual North American Monsoon accounts for most of our region's annual rainfall. The “summer rainy season,” as it's also known, runs from late July to September. Subtropical moisture pours into Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Colorado, resulting in widespread showers and cooler temperatures. It can put an end to wildfire season and more than a few camping trips.

This year, after an average snowpack and a dry spring, the monsoon is particularly welcome. But the relief may be short-lived. The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center recently released its 3-6 month forecasts. What's in store for the Four Corners?

Warmer than normal. And drier than normal.

I reached out to Peter Goble to learn more about the persistence of the drought. He's a climatologist and drought specialist with the Colorado Climate Center.

Erin Walter, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction, Colorado talked to me about the current surge of monsoon moisture.

Want to read more about the impact of rapid melt on mountain snowpack? The New York Times took a closer look for this article on the renewed threat of “megadrought” in the Desert Southwest.


KSUT COVID-19 news reporting is made possible by support from individual donors and the Colorado Media Project.