Rainy August Follows Dry July

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After a late start and a slow beginning, the monsoon season has produced some August gully washers.

Monday's 0.63-inch downpour was preceded by a 1.11-inch torrent on Sunday and a 1.38-inch deluge on Aug. 2. Precipitation for the month is 3.71 inches to date, already above the historical average for August of 3.23 inches.

But don't start building an ark just yet.

According to longtime National Weather Service observer Anna Mae Deming, July's storms barely registered on the radar screen. In fact, only 0.3 inches fell in Deming's official rain gauge in July, compared to a historical average of 2.64 inches.

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As monsoon rains bring an end to fire season and a thirsty July, heavy downpours fill local washes, drainage ditches and reservoirs. The water line at Green Valley Lake inched well past normal levels.

So far, the 2005 monsoon season has produced a total of 4.01 to date, still below the historical average of 5.87 inches through August. The total precipitation for July and August last year was 7.0 inches.

Residents in the outlying communities who normally face impassable Tonto Creek and East Verde River during rainstorms, were least affected.

"(The river) came up a little bit in the afternoon, but it didn't come over the culvert," said East Verde Estates resident James Cambier. "It was noticeable, but people were crossing it."

Cambier said he visited a friend at the Payson Care Center Monday, shortly following the afternoon storm.

"It was a lot worse in Payson," said Cambier. "The parking lot was so flooded you couldn't get out of the car."

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