As August comes to a close next week, Arizona’s summer of monsoon storms and flash floods should begin slowing down, according to the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

But already, this year’s monsoon — while not setting any official rainfall records — is considered one of the most active summers over the past 30 years for monsoon storms in the Phoenix area, based on one factor — lightning.

This summer’s activity was noteworthy because of the intensity of the storms marked by lighting strikes, said Andrew Deemer, a meteorologist for National Weather Service Phoenix. 

A graph produced by NWS Phoenix on Friday shows that this summer had seen the second-highest number of lightning strikes within a 40-mile radius of downtown Phoenix over the past 30 years for the period June 15- Aug. 23. Only 2006 saw more during that period since 1988.

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“Most places in Arizona are pretty flat. So, it’s interesting to see how many cloud-to-ground lightning strikes actually hit the ground,” said Deemer. “Lightning is a really good proxy to indicate how intense Arizona’s storms have been recently.”

The chance of continued rain remained in place Friday evening but start to decline on Saturday before drier air moves into the region and takes hold next week, Deemer said.

High temperatures next week should hover around 105 and overnight lows in the low to mid 80s.


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