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Fri, Feb. 22
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July brings plenty of rain to northern Arizona

July monsoon rains brought plentiful precipitation to Prescott and the rest of northern Arizona after a long dry spell.

Prescott broke a 68-day dry spell on Independence Day when the official Sundog measuring site on the northeast side of the city recorded 0.14 inches of monsoon rain.

Flagstaff got rain on July 3 for the first time in 92 days, ending its third-longest streak of dry days on record.

Sometimes the monsoon rains were too plentiful last month, such as the 3-4 inches of rain that fell on July 14 on areas where the Gladiator wildfire burned 16,240 acres south of Prescott between May 13 and June 13.

The downpour washed out portions of the main road from Cleator up to Crown King, closing it for a few days. Luckily damage around homes was minimal with the help of straw and mulch on private and public lands in the burned areas. The county, Prescott National Forest and Natural Resource Conservation District partnered on the mitigation efforts.

The Crown King Fire Department recorded 6.65 inches of rain in just three days surrounding July 14. Rainfall statistics from county gauges in the wildfire area weren't available Thursday.

Yavapai County road workers are still working to fix the road, and it could take a few months in all. Travelers are advised to avoid it from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday or face delays.

"When traveling into Crown King, use extreme caution," Yavapai County Emergency Management Coordinator Denny Foulk warned. Avoid the road during rains because boulders could fall from the steep burned areas above. Other roads in the burn area including part of Senator Highway remain closed.

The Sundog measuring site in Prescott recorded 3.19 inches of precipitation in July, which is 111 percent of the 114-year average in Prescott.

Average high temperatures were slightly below average across Arizona because of the frequent cloud cover.

The Prescott airport recorded 3.01 inches of rain or 143 percent of average in July, making it the 15th wettest year on record at the airport. Records date to 1948.

The Weather Service released a review of July weather for northern Arizona on Thursday.

Several sites recorded more than five inches of rain in July including Sunrise Mountain (5.96 inches), Saint Michaels (5.81), Pinetop (5.64), Grand Canyon Visitor Center (5.53), Oak Creek (5.45) and McNary (5.39).

It was the second-wettest July on record for the Oak Creek measuring site and Walnut Canyon National Monument, as well as the third wettest at Grand Canyon Airport.

Rainfall at various sites in Yavapai County included: Jerome 4.32 inches, Cottonwood 3.35, Chino Valley and Bagdad 3.28, Seligman 3.06 and Castle Hot Springs 1.5.

Other extreme July weather events across Yavapai County that were reported by the Weather Service included a strong thunderstorm over Interstate 17 on July 22 that produced a downburst and wind gusts of 67 mph, blowing a truck over on I-17 about four miles north of Bumblebee.

On the same day in Skull Valley, localized flooding occurred and a lightning strike set a power pole on fire.

Heavy rain near Camp Verde on July 23 caused water to flow over Highway 260 just west of I-17.

And thunderstorms on July 24 produced localized flooding in Sedona and Dewey-Humboldt.


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