DENVER(CBS)- The clouds and thunderstorms that have shown up for Father’s Day Weekend are all part of an early season burst of the monsoon.
The full name is The North American Monsoon. Which is simply put a reversal of the wind pattern. A pattern that gives the Rockies most of it’s moisture in the summer months.
Here is the set up for the summer monsoon. An area of heat and high pressure forms over northern Mexico early in the summer.
Now officially Monsoon season runs from June 15th thru the end of August. But, most of the moisture from the Gulf of Mexico in that first stretch from June to mid July pushes into Arizona and New Mexico.
On average heading into the first part of July the high shifts northward allowing moisture from the Pacific to also push into the mix.
Then its Colorado’s turn! At some point in the mid-summer the center of the high pressure ridge waffles back and forth from Colorado into Texas. This opens the door for showers and thunderstorms to develop in the flow from south to north into the state on the west side of the high pressure zone. This is what is known as a “burst” of moisture.
The high can waffle back west from time to time and cut-off the flow drying things out. This is known as a “break” in the monsoon.