PHOENIX - The official start of the Monsoon is on Friday for the desert southwest and storms could already roll in later this week.
After a very dry winter and spring, Arizona is desperate for any moisture to help relieve some of the extreme drought.
There are indicators that Arizona could experience a wetter than normal summer, but there's still a question mark because several weather factors have to come together in the atmosphere for the skies to open up.
As an intense drought looms over the state, National Weather Service meteorologists are looking to Monsoon 2018 to give the desert a drink. The question now is how much and where.
While Monsoon is not as helpful as winter rains, the desert and High Country do benefit, says meteorologist, Marvin Percha.
"Just having a more moist atmosphere reduces chance of fire starts and wetting rains help too," Percha said.
Percha said there are signs Monsoon could start sooner and dump more rain.
"When we have years like this when the winters are dry, that high pressure that normally moves northward, tends to move northward earlier," Percha said.
When that happens, it draws moisture from the south. Combine that with desert heat and thunderstorms and walls of dust can erupt.
"We get impulses of moisture that move up and it's difficult to predict when and how much rain they will bring, if and when they do occur," Percha said.
Another good sign is warmer Eastern Pacific waters for tropical storms.
"[It] gives more moisture and energy to develop so they tend to be stronger," he said.
Percha said that could mean more Pacific hurricane moisture moving into the southwest, especially during August and September.
July 4 weekend, Percha said, is when Arizona really starts to see Monsoon action across the state and the upcoming weekend appears to be an earlier start.
Meteorologists are also looking to a better than average chance of an El Niño developing, which could bring us more rain in late summer and early fall.
While the odds appear to be in the favor of a busier Monsoon and El Niño, it's still early.