Fox News Weather Center

Heavy Rain, Flood Threat Slowly Decreasing Across Southwest

The stream of moisture into the Southwest is drying out some, so this weekend may not be as wet as the previous few days.

According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark, "This translates into a gradual reduction of afternoon and evening thunderstorms and they will not be as heavy."

This is good news for many locations around the region that have already received heavy rainfall earlier in the week.

After picking up over 2 inches of rain on Wednesday and another 1.28 inches on Thursday, Clines Corner, New Mexico, is now up to 388 percent of normal precipitation for the month of July.

Heavy rainfall also caused flash flooding in Grants, New Mexico, where parts of the downtown area were under 2-4 feet of water.

The focus of monsoon moisture will shift east over the weekend, with several rounds of thunderstorms and heavy rain likely each afternoon and evening. Cities like Las Vegas, Flagstaff and Albuquerque should be alert for thunderstorms that can produce flash flooding and dangerous lightning.

As a result of the moisture decreasing and shifting eastward, chances for storms in California will be on the downward trend.

"California will see a drying of the air mass through the weekend, and by Sunday only a stray afternoon thunderstorm will occur over the Sierra," said Clark.

This is good news in terms of the threat for lightning triggering wildfires. However, much of the state still remains in exceptional drought so rainfall is usually welcome relief.

Any storms that develop are likely to be slow-moving and capable of producing heavy rainfall over one location. This is particularly dangerous for motorists traveling through or along normally dry stream beds. In addition to rapidly rising water, quick runoff can push debris onto some roadways.

Residents should also be aware of the threat for lightning and quickly head indoors if thunder is heard.

Thanks to a pattern shift, a much drier air mass will push east and force the monsoon moisture to retreat for the first part of next week.

With minimal threat of storms, the Southwest can expect seasonably dry conditions to kick off the first week of August.