When is Monsoon Season in Arizona?

Monsoon season arrives in Arizona every summer, bringing much-needed relief from the scorching heat. The National Weather Service officially defines Arizona’s monsoon season as between June 15 and September 30. The Phoenix area receives roughly half of its yearly rain during these months. The season’s frequent storms help temper the intense summer heat, making the persistent haboob-alert texts almost worth it.

The actual start of monsoon season varies each year according to weather conditions within the state and beyond. Whether you have been here for years or are confronting a haboob for the first time, here’s what you should know about monsoon season in Arizona.

What is a Monsoon?

A monsoon is not an individual storm. The word comes from the Arabic “mausim,” which means “season.” So yes, by saying “monsoon season,” we’re all being a bit redundant. In Arizona, monsoon season is characterized by a shift in wind patterns that brings moist air from the Gulf of California and the Pacific Ocean, leading to increased humidity and thunderstorms.

Safety Tips for Monsoon Season

Monsoon season can be beautiful, but it also brings hazards. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Stay Informed:
    • Sign up for weather alerts and watch local news reports for storm updates.
    • Use weather apps to track storm patterns and receive real-time alerts.
  2. Prepare Your Home:
    • Ensure your roof is in good condition to handle heavy rain.
    • Trim trees and shrubs to prevent branches from breaking off during strong winds.
    • Secure outdoor furniture and other items that could become projectiles in high winds.
  3. Driving Safety:
    • Avoid driving during heavy storms. If you must drive, reduce your speed and increase your following distance.
    • Never drive through flooded roadways. Turn around, don’t drown.
    • Be cautious of low visibility during haboobs. If you encounter one, pull over to the side of the road, turn off your lights, and keep your foot off the brake pedal.
  4. Flood Safety:
    • Know the flood risk in your area and have an evacuation plan.
    • Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters. It only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock you off your feet.
    • Keep important documents and valuables in a waterproof container.
  5. Outdoor Activities:
    • Plan outdoor activities during the early part of the day to avoid afternoon storms.
    • If you hear thunder or see lightning, seek shelter immediately. Wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunderclap before resuming activities.
    • Stay away from open fields, tall trees, and bodies of water during storms.

By taking these precautions, you can enjoy the benefits of monsoon season while staying safe. Monsoon season in Arizona is a unique and dramatic part of the year, offering both relief from the heat and challenges from the weather. Stay informed and prepared to make the most of this vibrant season

Remember the safety slogan: Turn Around – Don’t Drown! By staying informed and taking these precautions, you can ensure your safety!

 

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