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48 hour radar estimated rainfall from 6 AM PT Saturday through 6 AM PT Monday.

Last week we talked about deep moisture surging northward into the Southwest as Dolores moved west of Baja California and how this was going to increase showers and storms across the region. Some of the heaviest rain the past couple days has fallen across southern California, where some locations have picked up over 2″ of rain in typically the driest time of the year for the coastal cities. Of course, this is the monsoon season across the Southwest, so places like Phoenix are used to seeing some rain by the time we hit mid-July. This rain has caused numerous flood reports as well as washing out a bridge along I-10 near Desert Center, CA. That stretch of road is closed until further notice due to the situation.

(VIDEO: I-10 bridge collapsed in California)

7-20_SanDiego_WeekendRainThis rain has led to some impressive rain totals for areas such as Los Angeles and San Diego. San Diego picked up a total of 1.69″ of rain over Saturday and Sunday, with 1.03″ falling Saturday and 0.66″ on Sunday. The rainfall on Saturday broke the previous one day July rain record in San Diego of 0.83″ back on July 25th, 1902. That Saturday rainfall alone also broke the July monthly rain record for the city of 0.92″ back in 1902. The rain this weekend, along with an additional 0.01″ of rain that fell on the 1st of this month, brings the city to a grand total of 1.70″ of rain only 19 days into the month. July is typically the second driest month on record for San Diego, with only 0.03″ on average.

7-20_LosAngeles_WeekendRainLos Angeles also broke all-time July records this weekend, with a total of 0.38″ falling over the two days in downtown. 0.36″ of that fell on Saturday, breaking not only the July daily record of 0.24″ set on July 14th, 1886 but also the all-time monthly total of the same total (no more rain fell the rest of the month in 1886 across the area). Los Angeles International Airport saw 0.35″ of rain over the weekend, breaking the previous monthly record of 0.32″ set in 1992. In fact, they had tied that record as of Saturday, but broke it Sunday when 0.03″ fell.

Now, you wouldn’t normally associate “rainout” and “July in Los Angeles” in the same sentence, but it is exactly what happened last night to the Los Angeles Angels. It was the first Angels game at home to be rained out since June 16, 1995 against the White Sox. The game will be made up today as a doubleheader.

This is of course impressive rain for July, especially if you are breaking all-time records. Some areas haven’t been as lucky so far this month, coming in so far with less rainfall than areas of southern California has seen the past couple days. Let’s take a peak at three of these locations that haven’t seen the rain fall as it should during the month of July.

1. Key West, FL

It’s been really dry in Key West this month with only 0.15″ of rain so far this month in the southernmost continental U.S. city. If the month ended today, it would be the driest July on record for Key West, and you would need to more than double that amount to only be the second driest (currently 1942 with 0.33″). To put that in perspective verses San Diego, the California town has seen over 11 times more rainfall this month so far than Key West.

2. Houston, TX

After seeing the fifth wettest May on record with 14.17″ of rain, and the 8th wettest June on record with 11.39″, the rain machine has essentially turned off so far this month across portions of the south as high pressure reigns. Houston typically receives 3.79″ during the month of July, but they have had only 0.44″ of rain so far. According to NWS Houston, they have only seen three other times when double digit rainfall has fallen in two consecutive months, but none of those times has had less than an inch of rain in the third month of the sequence.

3. Dodge City, KS

July is typically the second wettest month of record for the Dodge City area, with an average of 3.08″ of rain falling. This year, however, it’s been hard to find the rain with only 0.68″ falling through the 19th. If the month were to end today, it would be the 17th driest July month on record.


Taking a look at the five day precipitation forecast, while the rain finally starts to push out of southern California, about the only one of our three selected locations that have been in the have-not category this month that will see rain is Dodge City. A heavy arch of rain is possible across parts of the central and southern Plains once again this week, with some areas potentially receiving 3″+ of rain through Saturday morning.


– Meteorologist D.J. Kayser

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