Wave of energy moving across Pacific could ramp up monsoon - Tucson News Now

Wave of energy moving across Pacific could ramp up monsoon

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A wave of tropical energy called the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) can affect monsoon action here in Arizona. 

The MJO originates in the Indian Ocean and then travels east, across the Pacific Ocean. This wave enhances tropical storm formation as it reaches the west coast of Central America and South America. Increased tropical activity in this area of the ocean can then make its way up the west coast of Mexico, eventually pushing monsoon moisture into Arizona. The MJO cycle ranges from 30 to 60 days, meaning a new wave arrives every one to two months. 

Currently the MJO appears to be strengthening in the Indian Ocean. The below loop shows storm action across the globe from the last three days. It is made up of data from four different satellites. The yellows and reds indicate where convection (rain and storms) are covering the planet. Looking at the Indian Ocean, a mass of brighter colors appears in that area over the last few days. 


Below is the MJO forecast for the next 40 days. Orange indicates favorable MJO conditions. As you can see below, a mass of orange is moving across the Pacific Ocean through the rest of June and into early July. By late July, the MJO arrives over the ocean waters west of Central America. If this MJO forecast plays out as seen below, tropical activity in the East Pacific Ocean could ramp up about a month from now. This can then ramp up monsoon action in Arizona a few days to a week later. 

But note that the below forecast is from just one weather computer model that tracks the MJO. Other computer model forecasts are not looking quite so favorable for the monsoon here in Arizona. 

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