As storms dumped rain across the metro area over the weekend, Tucson experienced the wettest monsoon season ever as of Sunday.
A record 5.88 inches of rain had fallen at Tucson International Airport between the official start of the monsoon season on June and noon on July 25, according the National Weather Service.
That beat out the previous record of 5.3 inches of rainfall through July 25, set in 1990, and easily surpassed 2020’s entire monsoon season, which saw just 1.62 inches of rain fall between June 15 and Sept. 30.
The record for a complete monsoon season between June 15 and Sept. 30 was set in 1964 at 13.64 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
The rain brought cooler weather to the Tucson area as well, with the high temperature on Sunday just 77 degrees, a new record for the coolest high for July 25. But temps were expected to return to the high 90s later this week.
Thanks to the drenching rain, the Rillito and the Santa Cruz rivers were running bank to bank in places and several roads around the metro area were temporarily closed, including sections of northwest corridors such as Avra Valley Road and Trico Road.
County officials on Friday warned residents to avoid The Loop and social media featured photos of a rockslide blocking a lane on Mount Lemmon Highway on Sunday.
Officials also discouraged residents from playing around or in the washes. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department shared footage on Facebook of a Pima County Search and Rescue team using a helicopter to pull a kayaker from a flooded wash.
More rain could be on the way: As of Monday morning, the National Weather predicted a 40% chance of rain on Thursday and Friday nights and a 30% chance of rain over the weekend.
Local authorities continue to warn residents to avoid traveling during severe storms and to not cross barricaded wash crossings because of flash flood dangers.
In addition to the monsoon records, the 5.65 inches of rain dumped at Tucson International Airport through July 25 made this the fourth wettest July on record, coming within 1.15 inches of the 6.8 inches dumped in 2017, and the sixth wettest month on record, trailing the record 7.93 inches that dropped in August 1955.