Monsoon 101: Mogollon Rim Storms - Tucson News Now

Monsoon 101: Mogollon Rim Storms

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**THE VIDEO ATTACHED TO THIS STORY IS A GENERAL EXPLANATION OF MOGOLLON RIM STORMS. IT IS NOT INTENDED AS A CURRENT WEATHER UPDATE.**

When storms from the Mogollon Rim aim toward Tucson, they frequently bring with them damaging wind.

Unlike a "typical" Monsoon day, where storms are moving very slowly, when the "Mogollon Rim" pattern sets up, the storms move rapidly. That rapid motion translates into strong, sometimes damaging, straight-line wind.

The Mogollon Rim runs from eastern to north-central Arizona, and is the beginning of the Colorado Plateau. It juts above the rest of Arizona, starting at a 7,000 feet elevation.

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION FOR SCREEN READERS

Figure 1: The Mogollon Rim

When Monsoon moisture flows north from the tropics, the moisture-rich air hits the Rim. This forces the humid air upward, cooling it and condensing the water vapor (humidity) into visible cloud particles and eventually thunderstorms with wind and heavy rain.

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION FOR SCREEN READERS

Figure 2: Moist air at the surface moves north from the tropics, hitting the Rim and forming thunderstorms. 

When an upper-level area of high pressure is positioned northwest of Arizona, the flow around it controls the direction of movement of clouds and storms. The clockwise flow pushes thunderstorms that form along the Rim toward Tucson.

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION FOR SCREEN READERS

Volia! Mogollon Rim Storms.

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