Arizona’s governor, Doug Ducey, recently decided that June 14th through the 19th is “Monsoon Awareness Week.” But all natives of the valley know that every day of summer is monsoon weekend. Arizona residents should always be on guard for capricious storms we call the monsoon.
Originating from the pacific and gulf coast, these sudden summer storms are actually the product of contrasting high pressure and low pressures systems butting heads along the coast. Indeed, it takes a monsoon a while to strike, but when it does, it comes on suddenly and aggressively, usually striking low valleys like Phoenix, Arizona.
The Arizona Department of Emergency Management consider the months between June and mid-September as monsoon season. Valley residents ought to be vigilant. For a monsoon storm can be characterized as follows: sudden storms erupting in the desert during summer months; storms are accompanied by extremely high temperatures and humidity; violent wind speeds are also a monsoon trait; dust and debris is the leading cause of damage during these storms.
Indeed, predicting this capricious assailant is near impossible. If you are on the road, head home as soon as possible or pull over if the monsoon obstructs your ability to drive, significantly. If you are outside amidst the storm, make sure you avoid wide open spaces or holding onto any metal that could be considered a conductor. You don’t want to be struck by lightning, do you?
Monsoons are one of the many threats that affect the southwest during summer. Although our winters are generally benign compared with our Atlantic counterparts, the summer months are dangerous and potentially deadly. Heat exhaustion and dehydration are not uncommon. Drinking plenty of water, avoid excessive heat, and avoiding excessive exercise is the surest away to ensure a safe summer in the valley of the sun.