Monsoon Flow brings random Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms around the Jackson Hole area the last two days are a result of warm and moist air coming up from the Desert Southwest Monsoon that is now underway.

A “monsoon” is simply a seasonal wind flow pattern, in this case, one that occurs each summer,¬†primarily in July & August, and extends from the interior of Mexico¬† and up through the Four-Corners Region. Sometimes, that monsoon flow extends as far north as Wyoming & Montana.

Satellite map below shows the direction of flow on Tuesday morning, at about the same time a cluster of thunderstorms (shown on the lightning strike map) was passing over Jackson, WY. Whereas, everywhere else in the path of that moist air, there were no thunderstorms!

That is the nature of monsoon-related thunderstorms, they can be quite random, and can occur any time of the day or night.

The weather pattern changes over the next two days, to more of a “Zonal” flow (from West to East) across the Pacific Northwest & Northern Rockies, which will keep the monsoon suppressed to the south of Wyoming.

More to come on Thunderstorms & Lightning in future posts.

Posted by: Meteorologist Jim Woodmencey