• Although the rainfall helps diminish the drought, it can also lead to dangerous floods.
  • Over the weekend, a flash flood swept away a 16-year-old girl in Cottonwood, Arizona.
  • Though the rain itself is popularly called a “monsoon,” the term scientifically means a seasonal shift in wind direction.

Monsoon rain in the Southwest is putting a dent in the extreme to exceptional drought across the region, and portions of Arizona and New Mexico are seeing some of the most significant improvements.

Over the next couple of days, the monsoon rain threat will diminish across those states, the National Weather Service said, and focus instead on southern portions of California, Nevada and Utah.

Rain was reported Monday morning in the Los Angeles area.

Although the rainfall helps diminish the drought, it can lead to dangerous floods.

“The heavy rain will create mainly localized areas of flash flooding, with urban areas, roads, and small streams the most vulnerable through Tuesday morning,” the weather service said. In the San Diego area, the weather service warned that “life-threatening debris flows will be possible near recent burn scars.”