The Southwest’s summer weather (June through August) is surprisingly variable and unique. Unlike most of the country, the warmest temperatures occur in June, when dry thunderstorms, wind, and deep mixing result in fire danger. July and August bring wet thunderstorms and highly variable rainfall distributions. Some weather patterns are large and persistent, like the monsoons, while small scale events, such as virga bombs and heat bursts have shorter, local impacts. Dust storms and drought often occur.
Interested in math and science as a child, Deirdre Kann earned a BS in mathematics and a PhD in atmospheric sciences from Purdue University. She worked for various agencies within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for 30 years, including 23 years as the Science & Operations Officer at the Albuquerque National Weather Service. Now retired, Deirdre enjoys public speaking and outreach activities focused on various topics in weather and climate.