Thursday, July 23, 2009

Arizona Monsoon...

High Country Monsoon thunderstorm rolling in toward the Valley...
Photo by Susan Strohm.

I just thought this would be an interesting thing to share. We are in the midst of Arizona's Monsoon. It is an incredible time of year where the concept of AZ's "dry heat" just doesn't exist. It is 110+ degree's every day, and it is very, very humid!

Dust storm rolling into Chandler.

More about the Monsoon - Courtesy of
Monsoon storms range from minor dust storms to violent thunderstorms. They can even spawn tornadoes, though that is very rare. Typically, Arizona monsoon storms start with heavy winds sometimes resulting in a visible wall of dust hundreds of feet high moving across the Valley. These dust storms are normally accompanied by frequent thunder and lightning often leading to heavy downpours. Monsoon rains average about 2-1/2", about 1/3 of our yearly rainfall.

A downed tree in the parking lot at Kayley's Preschool!

Serious damage can occur from high winds, or from debris being tossed by those high winds. It is not unusual for trees to be downed, power lines to be damaged, and roof damage to occur. As you might imagine, homes that are not as sturdy, like some manufactured homes, are more susceptible to wind damage. Power outages are not uncommon.

We have had a couple of really impressive storms roll through, but we haven't had the massive amounts of rain yet that closes the streets by our house. If/When it happens I will tromp out there and take a picture... The lightening over the last week has been incredible and actually burned down several houses. It is so dangerous to be caught outside during a Monsoon Thunderstorm!

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