WeatherAsk the Team


Monsoon Facts

Posted: 1:48 PM, Jun 10, 2020
Updated: 2021-06-09 20:32:38-04


Is it monsoon or monsoon season?

  • The word monsoon is derived from the Arabic word mausim, which means season. Since you wouldn't say 'season season' just say monsoon.

How bad does a storm need to be to count as a monsoon?

  • The word "monsoon" makes people think of heavy rain and flooding but calling a single storm a monsoon is incorrect. A monsoon is a large-scale weather pattern that brings on our summer thunderstorms.

When does monsoon start?

  • Officially, it starts on June 15th. However, we generally see our first round of thunderstorms closer to the 4th of July in Tucson.

When does monsoon end?

  • Monsoon officially ends September 30th, but most of our monsoon thunderstorms come to an end around Labor Day weekend.

How much rain do we get during monsoon?

  • In Tucson, we average 6.08" of rain during monsoon which is over half of our average annual rainfall.

What was Tucson's wettest monsoon ever?

  • To date, the most rain Tucson received during monsoon was 13.84" in 1964.

What was Tucson's driest monsoon ever?

  • To date, the least rain Tucson received during monsoon was 1.59" in 1924.

When did we switch from using dew point as a way to determine when monsoon started as opposed to the June 15th calendar method?

  • The switch was made in 2008 to make it easier to keep track of the weather that typically occurs with the onset of monsoon such as dust storms. The thought was also to make it easier to educate the public about the dangers associated with monsoon and to keep track of climate data during monsoon.

When you ask most people what Monsoon means, they say rainy season. But the actual definition of Monsoon is...

  • A seasonal shift in wind direction, which brings increased moisture from the south that brings on the rainy season.

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