Share this article:
The southwestern United States is in the midst of a pattern change which will bring bouts of wet weather, lowering the fire threat this week.
A dry and warm end to January and start of February left the region parched and caused drought conditions to redevelop or worsen.
Large portions of Southern California, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and all of Arizona are dealing with drought ranging from moderate to extreme.
Although the rainfall this week will not be enough to wipe out the drought or ease water supply concerns in the coming months, the turn to damper weather will moisten dry vegetation and ease the wildfire danger.
“Rain will make a rare appearance to central and Southern California this week,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Rathbun said.
“Most of the precipitation will be confined to the Sierra and Coastal Range, but it will fall light and scattered,” he said.
Flagstaff, Arizona, which has only received 23 percent of its normal snowfall so far this winter, was whitened by a bit of snow to kick off the week.
“It does not appear that any significant precipitation will occur to put a dent in the growing drought,” Rathbun said.
Residents in Los Angeles and San Diego may need to pull out an umbrella at times and could face slower commutes as spotty showers move across the area through Tuesday.
Airline passengers traveling to and from these cities may face delays.
“With cold air aloft, isolated thunderstorms cannot be ruled out with this system,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson said.
Brief gusty winds, small hail and frequent lightning will be the primary threats from any storm.
Southwest interactive radar
Q and A: Bobsled expert explains how weather affects sliding events at the Winter Olympics
Winter Games white tiger mascot symbolizes protection but sparks debate among animal activists
While California will miss out on significant, drought-busting rainfall, areas farther east could get a thorough soaking later this week.
“A plume of moisture from the tropical regions of the Pacific could bring steadier rainfall to the Desert Southwest during the middle to end of the week,” Rathbun said.
Should this area of steady rain evolve over the Desert Southwest, Rathbun warned that enough rain to trigger flash flooding and mudslides is possible.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
The southeastern United States is facing the risk for damaging thunderstorms this weekend.
A pattern of persistent downpours, beginning with a rainstorm this weekend is likely to disrupt travel, hinder outdoor plans and projects and put summer heat on hold in the Northeast into early August.
Gusty winds caused blowing dust to sweep across the Las Vegas area on Saturday, creating dangerous conditions for travelers.
Near-record heat will set the stage for a heightened risk of wildfires in the southwestern United States, including Southern California, next week.
The intense record heat baking the south-central United States is expected to get trimmed back early next week, but a sweep of refreshing air is not on the horizon.
A deadly heat wave is expected to continue into early week across Japan as Ampil bypasses the region to the south.
An uptick in monsoon rainfall is expected to heighten the flood threat across eastern and northern India this week.