Monsoon season breakdown: how long can we expect the rain?

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - We weathered the inversion and start of wildfire season, but now it's monsoon season.

Every summer we talk about monsoon season. Residents know it brings more rain, but what exactly is the monsoonal flow? It’s a lot more than just afternoon showers, and we aren't the only ones it affects.

The Grand Valley gets a significant portion of its total precipitation from the monsoon season. Big storms are brought our way by large scale wind shifts.

Traditionally, the four corner states see westerly winds, which carry our weather-making systems. Those winds cut through Colorado from West to East. The monsoonal flow is actually a shift in those winds, which bring much-needed moisture our way.

"We start to get winds from the south and that is what we call the monsoon,” National Weather Service forecaster Joe Ramey said. “It just so happens that down to the south in tropical Mexico, there is copious of moisture and we start to tap into that all the way up through Arizona, New Mexico and into Colorado, which we have seen over the past few days.”

Monsoon season is here in full force. It generally starts in mid-June and lasts through the end of September.

Monsoonal showers usually produce locally heavy downpours, causing flood advisories through the summer. We’ve already seen those advisories in Mesa County, as well as throughout areas on the Front Range.

Those floods can also make for dangerous conditions on mountain passes. Rock and mudslides like one in De Beque Canyon Wednesday morning are common.

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