Rain may be a part of Arizona’s monsoon season, but having high dewpoints also bring about dust storms, strong winds, and even tornadoes. Rainfall in Phoenix typically reaches 2.65 inches during the summer, especially between July and September. The season was wettest back in 1984 with rainfall reaching up to 9.38 inches which caused so many floods. On the other hand, Arizona experienced its driest monsoon season back in 1924 with only .35 inches of rain. This was bad in itself, as the dryness of the season created a drought and made the area prone to wildfires.
Monsoon season has been known to bring about damage to the area it hits, thanks to the strong winds that can tear down trees and throw debris around. They can also destroy structures and take out power lines. If not designed specifically to withstand harsh weather conditions, many homes could potentially be destroyed in a monsoon storm.
This is why it’s very important that you know what to do to be ready for monsoon season, whether you’re a local or a visitor in the area.
How to Stay Safe When You’re Caught by the Monsoon
- Stay within sheltered areas. Avoid tall structures like poles or trees as they can attract lightning.
- Don’t go to areas that are prone to floods.
- Stay away from telephones as they can be connected to lines that can be struck by lightning as well.
- Stay away from metal equipment such as farm equipment, golf carts, and more.
- Watch out for dust devils - they are often associated with monsoons.
- If you’re caught in a monsoon while driving, stop and park the car if the visibility is low. Make sure you turn off your lights as this might mislead other drivers to follow you and cause a collision in the storm.
- While Arizona doesn’t always have tornadoes, you might see some microbursts. Be ready for those as well.
- Watch out for sudden cooling temperatures and fast wind shifts. These are signs of thunderstorms. When you see them, take shelter immediately.
- If you’re on a boat, go back to land ASAP!
- Spread out, and don’t get stuck in crowds.
- Avoid open areas as this leaves you open to all kinds of danger during the storm.
- If you start to feel your hair standing on its ends, get down on your knees and cover your head. This is a sign of electricity which means that you might be struck by lightning.