Fox News Weather Center

Monsoon rainfall to threaten flash flooding in southwestern US


This year’s rainy season has already proven dangerous and fatal across the southwestern United States, and the influx of dangerous weather isn’t expected to let up this week.

While a strong ridge sits over the northwestern U.S. this week, storms are expected to pummel areas just outside its main area of influence.

“One trend early this week will be increasing monsoon moisture across southern and southeastern California,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Mike Doll.

“Starting Tuesday and going into Wednesday, thunderstorms will be more evident during the afternoon and early evening in the deserts and over the mountains,” he said.

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Anyone in central Colorado, eastern Arizona, New Mexico and western Texas, will also need to continue to keep an eye out for flash flooding from any storms.

Residents and tourists alike will need to keep up-to-date on the weather and adjust outdoor plans and travel accordingly as the threat of flooding rainfall continues across the Desert Southwest.

Those planning on visiting Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, the Guadalupe Mountains in Texas or Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park or Rocky Mountain National Park may need to adjust or postpone their plans in order to stay safe.

Shelter should be sought at the first sign of threatening weather - flooding and lightning threats are both dangers that can come on suddenly.

Normally dry creek beds can become flooded with no warning as storms located upstream produce torrents of water.

Anyone caught on the road in heavy storms should not attempt to continue through the drenching rainfall, as visibility drops suddenly and roads can quickly flood in any storm.

Even after a storm has ended, it will be important for motorists and pedestrians to avoid trying to traverse flooded roadways.

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While the highest threat for heavy thunderstorms will be mainly across central Colorado, eastern Arizona, New Mexico and northwestern Texas early this week, the storms in California present a different threat.

“There is a concern that some thunderstorms over the mountains of Southern California will contain very little rain. The risk of lightning-sparked wildfires will increase,” warned Doll.