As the weather patterns change and dry winds begin to blow south and southeast, the moisture from the Gulf of California is pushed towards Arizona to bring in our most interesting time of year – monsoon season. Monsoons are as destructive as they are fascinating. The mixture of flooding, high winds, lightning and dust storms can create a cocktail of chaos for local residents. What exactly are these monsoons, and how should they be prepared for?
The word “monsoon” is derived from the arabic word “mausim”, meaning season. Every year, from late June throughout September, the season of the monsoon passes through Arizona. This is due to wind reversal from California. Typically, winds will blow in the west and southwest directions. During this season, the pattern is temporarily reversed and will blow towards the south and southeast. The moisture from the Gulf of California is combined with the heat of the Arizona summer, and the monsoon season is born.
Monsoon season should be approached with caution. Strong winds can topple trees, down traffic signs and create dust storms over a mile high. Heavy rains can cause flooding, which can cause unsafe driving conditions and even shut down road access. Lighting strikes can injure or kill someone upon impact. In order to stay safe this monsoon season, some precautions should be taken.
Inspection of roofing and draining systems prior to storms can help ensure the safety and security of your home. Long or overgrown tree branches should be trimmed in order to prevent flying branches from striking personal property or loved ones. If you happen to be driving while a storm occurs, pull over and park your car. Turn your lights off and wait with your seat belt fastened until driving conditions become safe again. It is wise to stay indoors while the storm occurs. If you can hear the thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. By taking precaution, you can help ensure your safety this monsoon season.