Austin Cope

Last week was a hot one in Cortez, with daily high-temperature records falling like dominoes.

The end of 2017 brought little relief from warm, dry weather in the Four Corners area. Local weather observer Jim Andrus tells KSJD Cortez received only two-hundredths of an inch of precipitation in December.

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The Cortez area normally receives nearly half its annual precipitation during the traditional monsoon season of July through September.

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The local monsoon season is approaching, but how much relief it may provide to rain-starved Montezuma County is still up in the air. Weather observer James Andrus told the county commissioners Monday that he is not optimistic about strong monsoons, but conditions may change. Andrus said two daily high-temperature records were set in June and there was a period of 53 days without rain before a meager three-hundredths of an inch fell on Cortez Friday.

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Summer monsoon season should be right around the corner. Increased moisture and thunderstorms could bring the area some much-needed moisture and a break from record-breaking heat. KSJD's Austin Cope talked with local weather expert Jim Andrus to learn more about the summer monsoons, what causes them, and what the monsoon outlook is for 2017.