Phoenix experiences hottest summer, 3rd driest monsoon season on record

The summer of 2020 has set some records for Phoenix, and it's not good news.

Monsoon or Nonsoon?

The sound of rain and thunder is usually what many in the Valley look forward to hearing during the Monsoon season, but Valley residents haven't heard much of it during Summer 2020.

“Certainly when you’re thinking about the Phoenix area, it’s been pretty meager, so kinda disappointing," said Austin Jamison, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Jamison says the setup just hasn't been right.

"It turns out there’s typically strong high pressure over the region, but it needs to get positioned the right way to build a pinwheeling to pinwheel in the moisture into Arizona," said Jamison. "Unfortunately, it’s been a little to far south a lot of the time."

So far, Phoenix has only picked up a tenth of an inch of rain.

"If we continue to remain dry through August, then we really have lost our two wettest months of the monsoon," said Arizona State Climatologist Nancy Selover. "We occasionally have a tropical storm that comes through and drops a lot of moisture and adds moisture to the monsoon in September."

Jamison says there is still a glimmer of hope.

“In the coming days, maybe within this month, we are anticipating some tropical storm development in the East Pacific, and then if one of those can track just the right way, then we can get some moisture influx," said Jamison.

Valley residents coping with heat

Record-breaking temps aren't stopping people from spending time outdoors, though, as golf clubs and nurseries are seeing an increase in business.

Plants, too, are under extreme temperatures and are vulnerable to heat stress, causing plants to wilt, and eventually, you’ll see leaves turn brown. 

“It’s a struggle to keep things healthy during the summer and the landscape is obviously tough but in containers, many containers will dry out and need water twice the same day," explained Bill Jones.

A problem this year is that there is just not enough water. These intense periods of heat lead to a need for water and people can often underestimate that.

Jones says business is usually down over the summer months because of the heat. However, this year it hasn’t been too bad because of COVID-19, more people are getting into gardening.

Golf courses in the Valley have also been busy.

“This time of year is usually our slow season, but this year that has not been the case. Rounds at all the facilities are up about 60% in all of our city golf courses this year," said director of golf for the city of Phoenix, Greg Leicht.

In terms of the monsoon, Leicht says some rain will help the bermudagrass.

“That natural rainfall is really critical for turf conditions which we like to see a little bit of that, not make temperatures as scary when you’re looking at 115 and 116 all the time," he explained.

You can check the latest weather conditions by visiting the FOX 10 Phoenix weather page, or download the Free FOX 10 Weather app, which is available on Apple iOS and Android.