All of those who have grown up in the Phoenix Metro Area can recall memories of fierce monsoons. One moment, the sun is sweltering and the air is dry, and then the next moment, your neighborhood is being covered by harsh rains and the sounds of booming thunder. While monsoons are just a normal part of living in the desert, it seems as though this year, monsoon season is behaving quite differently than it usually does.
Monsoon season has come off to a late start this year. The season usually hits the Southwestern United States from July to mid-September, but in 2019, the season has hit Arizona later than it usually does. June 15 through September 30 is considered the official monsoon season. It was reported that through June 15 through July 31, Phoenix experienced around 0.9 inches of rain less than the area average. Many residents noticed the lack of rain, with reporters noting that as of July 15, no thunderstorms had yet been reported.
The 24th of July saw some measurable rain near Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport, but it was reportedly quite unremarkable compared to the signature harsh thunderstorms of the Valley’s monsoon season.
The 3rd of August in 2019 brought forth a severe thunderstorm. Those partying outdoors on that fated Saturday night would, unfortunately, have their outdoor gatherings crashed by sheets of rain, causing many to run for cover. Frequent lightning strikes lit up the sky and instilled much awe and fear to those who saw the event.
So after a late start, it appears as though monsoon season has officially begun. Thus, experts have issued safety warnings to all valley residents. Those in the Phoenix area have been advised to drive carefully. Driving on wet roads is a skill that many Phoenix residents are unaccustomed to, leading to many safety hazards. Flash floods often come with this kind of weather, so be wary of that possibility.
With the season comes massive dust storms, which are otherwise known as haboobs. Thankfully, the area has not seen a haboob come in, yet. Residents are still advised to be on the lookout for potential dust storms. The dangers of haboobs not only include an impaired field of vision for drivers but also potential allergy and asthma flare-ups.
As a part of the Surprise community, we were shocked to learn that Surprise, Arizona, along with Peoria, is predicted to be hit hard when monsoons roll around. We advise all of those in the community to be cautious and drive safely.