Las Vegas Sun

October 25, 2014

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Monsoon season coming to an end in Las Vegas

Just 12 days into September and the month already has been one of the soggiest on record, but relief from persistent precipitation has arrived.

“The forecast looks pretty dry. It looks like monsoon season 2013 is coming to a close for the Las Vegas area,” National Weather Service meteorologist Reid Wolcott said.

The .002 of an inch of rain measured at McCarran International Airport on Thursday marked the fifth consecutive day of measurable precipitation, at least .001 of an inch, topping the old Las Vegas record for September of three days.

It also tied the record for most consecutive days of at least a trace of precipitation, set in 1998, at seven.

Finally, the 10 days with precipitation in the valley in September topped the old record of nine, also set in 1998.

Overall, Las Vegas has seen a total of .035 of an inch of rain in September, which is far short of any records, Wolcott said. Other areas of the valley most likely saw more rain than that, but McCarran is home to the area’s official weather station.

“It’s been an unusually favorable set up for monsoon moisture piped up into our area this season,” Wolcott said. “We’ve had a very persistent pattern of a trough of low pressure off of the Pacific West Coast and a strong ridge of high pressure over the central United States. Typically, that high pressure sits over the four corners area, but this year it’s farther north and stronger, which has tilted the flow of moisture toward us.”

Additionally, three tropical storms off the Pacific coast in August and September contributed to the precipitation.

Now that the records are out of the way, a period of dry air and sunny skies is on the horizon.

“Clouds have kept temperatures down, but a warming trend begins today,” Wolcott said.

The high temperature today is expected to be 93 degrees, and it will get warmer over the weekend with a high of 100 degrees on Monday, he said. Next week temperatures should remain in the mid-90s with lows in the mid- and upper-70s.

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