Hurricane Hilary is making news this weekend as it begins to impact the southwestern United States.

Hilary is forecast to enter the southwestern U.S. as a tropical storm which will make it the first to do so in nearly 85 years. Currently, Hilary is pushing up the Baja peninsula bringing rain, wind and lightning to many areas.

Obviously, Hilary is going to bring heavy rainfall to many locations in the western U.S. In fact, some locations will receive a year’s worth of rainfall in only a few days. However, a question you might be asking is: will any of this moisture make it toward our area?

The notion that any of this moisture would make it to our area might seem ludicrous on the surface. However, a unique weather pattern over the United States will make that scenario a possibility this week. First, to set the stage, the video loop below shows water vapor imagery over the United States.

The green and blue colors represent areas of high water vapor content (clouds and rain) while the yellow and orange colors represent dry air. A strong region of high pressure in the central part of the U.S. is deflecting the moisture from Hilary to the north and east. The result is a conveyor belt of moisture throughout the western United States and into the northern Great Plains.

While the tropical storm is anomalous, the weather pattern in the central U.S. is not. This pattern is called a “ring of fire”. The “fire” in this case refers to showers and thunderstorms that revolve around the area of high pressure. This typically results in precipitation along the periphery of the high-pressure system and little to no precipitation near the high pressure. The 7-day precipitation forecast from the National Weather Service reflects this.

7-day precipitation forecast from the National Weather Service.

While the forecast is still somewhat uncertain, it does appear that some of the moisture left over from the remnants of Hurricane Hilary will impact the Valley.

The Storm Team 27 Future Tracker shows the precipitation moving into the area by the end of the week.

Thankfully, the forecast precipitation by week’s end will help to keep the extreme heat out of the Valley.