Monsoons To The Rescue?

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The week’s heat spell could end this weekend with forecasters predicting an early start to the monsoons.

Rim Country has a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms Sunday night and a 30 percent chance Monday, say forecasters.

A little moisture would help firefighters working the Poco Fire near Young, but the expected wind gusts could also spell trouble, said Brian Klimowski with the National Weather Service in Flagstaff.

A little rain could also cushion the impact of this week’s forest closures on Rim Country’s economy.

“This moisture might be coming just in time,” he said.

So far, fire officials say the weather has mostly been on their side since the Poco Fire started June 14, with minimal winds to push the fire around.

On the other hand, sometimes pre-monsoon storms deliver lots of lightning and wind but precious little rain.

On Friday, high pressure is expected to move east over the state, dropping temperatures from the triple digits seen earlier in the week.

With cooler temperatures, forecasters are also expecting an uptick in winds from the southwest.

Forecasters called for a slight chance for showers Sunday.

Klimowski said the developing weather pattern is consistent with a monsoonal storm, which typically do not arrive to the state until early July.

“This is indeed a couple weeks early,” he said, “but with the dry conditions, it is certainly welcome.”

Any moisture will evaporate by midweek as dry, hot conditions return.

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