1. Welcome to No Deposit Forum! Please log in to continue. New members please register here. New Member Registration

Arizona's Monsoon

Discussion in 'MODS CORNER' started by Mben, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Mben

    Mben No Deposit Forum Admin Staff Member

    Arizona's Monsoon

    By Lola Smith



    What is "monsoon"? Monsoon is defined as seasonal winds accompanied by changes in precipitation. The word was widely used to describe the changes in weather patterns in West Africa and Asia/Australia but other parts of the world have taken on the word to describe their rainy season and Southern Arizona is no exception.

    The Southern Arizona monsoon hits us usually around the 4th of July (but can arrive earlier in the middle of June) and runs through September. That day sticks in my head because we all wonder if the annual fireworks show will go on or be canceled due to rain. So is it a day on the calendar that marks the beginning of monsoon season around here? In the past, the way the start of monsoon was calculated was the dew point had to be at 55% or higher for 3 consecutive days. Once that occurred, our monsoon official started. The state has now chosen to call the dates of June 15th through September 30th our monsoon season.

    During the monsoon, our days start out with blue skies and puffy white clouds but by mid afternoon, the skies turn dark and grey. The winds pick up and pull moisture from the Gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez only to dump it onto the thirsty desert floors of Arizona.

    What can the residents of Arizona expect from the monsoon? Violent storms, lightning, thunder, torrential rain and flash flooding! This is a volatile time of year for us as the weather, though predicted, can take some drastic turns for the worse. Downed power poles, deadly flash flooding, power outages, city street flooding and lightning strikes are just some of the dangers from these storms. The high winds and rain levels are the most damaging. A couple of days ago, we were hit with a massive storm that had very high winds. The winds were so high that they actually flipped a jet plane onto another jet plane in the "boneyard" at Davis Monthan Air Force Base here in Tucson, AZ.



    We have a law in Arizona called "The Stupid Motorist" law. This law calls for a person to be charged with fines if a rescue needs to be conducted because they entered into a flooded roadway that was barricaded. We have many roadways that run though flood potential areas and every year, the barricades are placed only to be ignored by some. And for some who do not heed the warning, they should have thought twice about it because their life was taken by Mother Nature. During the monsoon, there is no warning when a flood prone area may turn into a raging river that is strong enough to wash cars down the makeshift river beds the currents are creating. Driving during a monsoon storm takes all a person has to keep themselves and other drivers safe on the roads.



    Because the weather in AZ is usually dry and hot, the rains are welcomed around these parts. There is a bit of excitement when the rains hit. At dawn, the sunrise can be beautiful. And at sunset, if there is not a late evening storm passing through blocking the sun, the sky turns into a spectacular canvass due to the clouds and the colors of the sun shining through.



    The desert of Southern Arizona is where I call home and every year Mother Nature comes and visits us in a potentially deadly but yet beautiful kind of way. As long as one is monsoon smart, staying safe is easily done.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2014
  2. Jewels

    Jewels WELL KNOWN MEMBER

    I have heard you talk about the Monsoon Season before but had no ideal! I was unaware that it similar to a real season and that it happens around the same time each year. To me, you would think this would happen internationally and not in a state located in the USA. It reminds me of the phenomenon in Alaska when the days are dark most of the year and are full of daylight the majority of the other part of the year. I know you have described unbearable scorching conditions during the summer. It sounds like the monsoons are a welcome relief each year but can be terrifying at the same time. This is the first time I have ever heard about this yearly event. It makes me realize there is quite a bit I don't know about the country I call home. Thanks for sharing!
  3. Mben

    Mben No Deposit Forum Admin Staff Member

    And as for other parts of the country, I am unfamiliar with their natural disasters and such. I don't know when hurricane season starts in the Southeast or when tornado season is in the Midwest. But I do know there are seasons and the destruction they cause. And Jewels, now you know about our Monsoon season ... our much needed summer relief that brings a bit of danger with it. I am happy to have brought my world to you.
  4. Sookie

    Sookie Mother of Cats

    Texas has monsoon season too.

    "Every year starting in early July and lasting through September, large stretches of the Southwest U.S. from southern Arizona east into western Texas see monsoon-fed scattered and strong thunderstorms, often daily."

    http://m.weatherbug.com/weather-news/weather-reports/6690
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  5. Mben

    Mben No Deposit Forum Admin Staff Member

    Yes, the monoon's don't just come to Arizona, but it's where I live and what I wanted to share.
  6. Sookie

    Sookie Mother of Cats

    :lol: Yes I understood that. I was just showing Jewels that they blow all the way from you to me. [​IMG] As a matter a fact I think she may see a piece of them from time to time and just not know that's what they were. 
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2014
  7. Jewels

    Jewels WELL KNOWN MEMBER

    You really sparked my interest with this article! What about the haboos? Do these occur in monsoon season as well? Do they make noise like a rumbling sound? Do you get adequate warnings like we would if a tornado was approaching? How do you prepare for it? I read that when these things roll in motorist can't even see each other until it's too late. Do they have a "curfew" or "stay at home" system to avoid this? What about clean up afterwards? How do you get massive amounts of dust off everything? I guess the monsoons wash it away? Sorry for the questions....but like I said before, I have never heard of these occurrences.

    My Mom lived in Arizona as a child and never mentioned them. Like Sookie said that they roll from you to her and then we may get a little bit of it in the end? Wow! I know I sound dumb now and this is basic weather stuff but I hated science in school and just couldn't wrap my mind around all to it. It's cool to be able to understand it now and learn new things. Kudos to you Michele!



    /download.spark?ID=1567440&aBID=89469You really sparked my interest with this article! What about the haboos? Do these occur in monsoon season as well? Do they make noise like a rumbling sound? Do you get adequate warnings like we would if a tornado was approaching? How do you prepare for it? I read that when these things roll in motorist can't even see each other until it's too late. Do they have a curfew or stay at home system to avoid this? What about clean up afterwards? How do you get massive amounts of dust off everything? I guess the monsoons wash it away? Sorry for the questions....but like I said before, I have never heard of these occurrences. My Mom lived in Arizona as a child and never mentioned them. Like Sookie said that they roll from you to her and then we may get a little bit of it in the end? Wow! I know I sound dumb now and this is basic weather stuff but I hated science in school and just couldn't wrap my mind around all to it. It's cool to be able to understand it now and learn new things. Kudos to you Michele!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 4, 2014
  8. Mben

    Mben No Deposit Forum Admin Staff Member

    Their called Haboobs and I have never seen one here in Tucson. I have heard of them more in the Phoenix are which is 100 miles north of me. We do get dust storm warnings all the time on TV and and radio which they probably predict them due to high winds and dry dirt in the deserts. I have not heard that haboobs happen only during the monsoons. I believe they just happen whenever.I have never heard a siren go off in Tucson due to a weather warning. I was in Indiana a few years ago meeting for the first time Belgamo and a former mod. She lived in Indiana. Well they had sirens going off in her town one night. When she told me what they were for, naturally, I freaked. lol That was something new to me. When my daughter went to El Paso a couple of months ago, she had to turn around and come back home because there was an accident on the freeway on the New Mexico border because of a dust storm. 6 people were killed. When she left the next day and drove through the area, she said the burnt vehicles were still off to the side of the freeway and it was eerie . I don't think that one was classified as a haboob though. What makes the difference? I don't know, lolAs far as the cleanup from a haboob, I heard there is a lot of mud everywhere because of the storm that follows. I can't imagine having to clean up a mess like that. Yuck! That picture is awesome only because it shows how powerful Mother Nature is but to have to deal with one, no way. I'll just look at the pictures.With you doing your research because of your thirst for knowledge, you might be able to teach me more about them, Jewels.
  9. Jewels

    Jewels WELL KNOWN MEMBER

    Thanks for more information! I could imagine your fear hearing sirens for the first time. I wish I could have been there to see your face. Priceless!
  10. Mben

    Mben No Deposit Forum Admin Staff Member

    Jewels, the haboob warning I mentioned to you yesterday became a reality.Here's an aerial view of it./download.spark?ID=1571407&aBID=89469And here's a video from the ground.[video=http://youtu.be/2Gkq2dmq2fA]
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2014
  11. Jewels

    Jewels WELL KNOWN MEMBER

    That is astonishing! It's nothing like I had imagined. The sky in the video is ominous like when we have a possible tornado coming our way. 2000 ft? That just blows my mind! Do you know if it did any damage? Wow! Just Wow!!! Thanks for sharing!
  12. Sookie

    Sookie Mother of Cats

    My boyfriend was reading about the storm earlier today. He said... Mben doesn't live in Phoenix does she?
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  13. Mben

    Mben No Deposit Forum Admin Staff Member

    Thankfully, no. "
    My daughter's sis-in-law got caught in it as she went up to Phoenix for something yesterday. She took a pretty cool picture of it.

Share This Page