The Monsoon Season in Phoenix

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Arizona Summer Thunderstorm Season is know as Monsoon

The beginning of July, the monsoon made its entrance. The monsoon brings with it high winds, dust and down pours which can result in flash flooding. When I first arrived in Arizona, I asked why a summer rain storm is called a monsoon storm.  The answer I received was that the Arizona monsoon season begins when there are 3 consecutive days of an average dewpoint of 55 degrees or higher.  On average this occurred on July 7th.  Was this too hard to keep track of?  Apparently so because in 2008 the National Weather Service decided to make it simpler and set firm dates for the beginning and end of the Arizona monsoon season.  Since 2008, June 15th is the first day of the monsoon, and September 30th is the last day of this season when the weather can get really intense. During July-August-September the average rainfall is 2.65 inches. Click to learn more.

What causes the monsoon?

The term “monsoon” comes from the Arabic “mausim” which means “season” or “wind shift.”  The word monsoon applies to a season not a specific storm.   Arizona winds usually flow in from the west or northwest, from California and Nevada.  As summer approaches, the winds shift to a southern or southeastern direction. Moisture comes from the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico producing the monsoon storms that bring intense and localized rain.

The monsoon produces some of the most extreme and severe weather than any other time of the year.   Storms may produce a microburst, high winds, dust and intense downpours which cause dangerous flash floods. This intense weather condition provides a stark contrast to typical sun laden Phoenix day we typical experience.

Stupid Motorist LawYes, even though we live in a desert flooding does occur. But because it is not really common, some drivers don’t know how to act when streets are flooded. Hence, the Stupid Motorist Law, or ARS 28:910 which says if a driver attempts to cross a barricaded and flooded street and they get stuck, they can be fined. This is intended to help absorb the cost of first responders that must react to drivers who act stupidly.

The monsoon season brings a welcome change and produces dramatic and awesome weather patterns. If you think you can handle this and want to received waterfront homes emailed to you as they come on the market, click on send me homes for sale automatically. Be sure and describe in detail what you’re looking for.

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