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Rain gauges in the Tucson area tell a varied story. Some have recorded as much as 5" of rain since the monsoon began June 15, others have registered under an inch.

Official rainfall measurements taken at Tucson International Airport indicate 3.5" of rain has fallen since July 1, which is far above normal.

Forecaster J.J. Brost at the National Weather Service says the strong monsoon start has erased some of Tucson's annual rainfall deficit. Officially, we're now .25" above average. "We've really caught up on our annual rainfall budget," Brost says.

It's also the second wettest start ever to the monsoon in Tucson. According to the NWS, 3.85" of rain fell at the airport between June 15 and July 16. Normally, 1.04" of rain falls during that period.

The rest of the week will be dry, as high pressure dominates. But Brost says low pressure will return to influence Arizona's weather by this weekend. It could even bring the kind of rainy, cool weather we experienced on July 4.

There's also been enough rainfall in southern Arizona that a number of agencies, including Saguaro National Park and Coronado National Forest, have lifted all fire restrictions. Officials with the Coronado note that widespread precipitation in the forest has led to decreased flammability of fuels such as trees and grasses.