By Chris Spears
DENVER (CBS4) – Rich moisture associated with the North American Monsoon is flowing into the desert southwest this week.
Dew point temperatures are being measured in the upper 50s and lower 60s in places like Phoenix and Las Vegas.
The dew point is a measure of the amount of moisture in the air.
Every summer the southwestern United States experiences a seasonal wind shift which transports rich subtropical moisture into the area. This wind shift is called the monsoon.
The increased moisture combines with daytime heating to help set off widespread showers and thunderstorms almost every afternoon.
Because the upper-level winds are often light during July and August the storms move slowly and can produce flash flooding. Monsoon storms often contain intense cloud-to-ground lightning and sometimes even hail.
Colorado’s normally sees monsoon activity peak between late July and mid-August.
Meteorologist Chris Spears travels weekly in the CBS4 Mobile Weather Lab reporting about Colorado’s weather and climate. Check out his bio, connect with him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @ChrisCBS4.