Following right on the heels of Andres, moisture from the remnants of Hurricane Blanca will increase the risk of thunderstorms and downpours across the Southwestern United States this week.
Although Blanca is starting on a weakening trend, the moisture and energy from the system will carry on and begin impacting the United States. The moisture and humid nature of this cell will interact with already existing non-tropical system; this will increase the amount of rain showers and thunderstorms across Arizona, Utah, Colorado, the higher terrain of New Mexico, and southeastern California.
There will be an abundance of cloud cover and storms, which will work to get rid of some of the heat that has been building up across the Western U.S. since the weekend. But, the large amount of moisture from Blanca will work to increase the humidity levels in the Desert area of the Southwest.
The inclement weather will first begin in Arizona, southeastern California and southern Nevada on Tuesday before spreading out and impacting more of the Four Corners and Wyoming on Wednesday. Even though Blanca has a tropical background, the moisture will more than likely not trigger any type of widespread flooding problems. If certain areas that have already been saturated by rain experience steady periods of rain localized flooding may occur.
This rings true for smaller creeks and streams that are being fed by the melting snow from the mountainous regions of Colorado and Utah, as well as the deserts of southeastern California and southern Arizona where the soil can’t absorb torrential rainfall very well.
Another concern with this system is blinding dust. This may become a problem along the leading edge of the thunderstorms as they move through the deserts. Unfortunately, all of the thunderstorms expected to move through the area will bring a threat of lightning. As soon as thunder is heard, there is a risk of lightning touching down in your area.
If you plan on spending Tuesday or Wednesday outdoors when the thunderstorms are predicted to move through, make sure you keep your eye to the sky and have continuous updates on the system. This includes anyone who’s at the Joshua Tree National Park in California, Phoenix, Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon in Arizona, as well as the San Juan National Forest in Colorado or the Zion National Park in Utah.
Besides the threat of severe weather, this system will benefit most of the West as the drought has a strong grip on the area. Unfortunately Blanca’s moisture will move past drought-stricken California, but spotty storms from the non-tropical system will affect the mountains on Tuesday and Wednesday.
As the moisture from Blanca gets drawn eastward and begins interacting with the Gulf moisture, it is more than possible that severe thunderstorms will threaten places such as Nebraska on Thursday. That will then mark the beginning of a several-day blitz of storms for the Central Plains, leading to some major flash flooding concerns for the already saturated areas.