Monsoon Season

Summer is here and for the next three months the monsoon will rule the Arizona weather. Featuring dazzling displays of lightning, powerful winds that will rip off roofs and uproot trees, and pounding rain that will flood washes and sweep away cars and homes.

What is the monsoon?

According to the National Weather Service, the word “monsoon” is derived from the Arabic word “mausim,” which means season. So, as opposed to an individual storm, the monsoon is a specific season of the year.

In Arizona, the monsoon is essentially a change in the weather patterns and wind direction. As the wind flow shifts from the west and southwest the rain follows.  As winds change to flow in from the east and southeast they bring wiht them a hefty level of moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and California. As Arizona braces for the monsoon season the temperature and wind shifts herald the arrival of the stormy season.

Will this monsoon be any different?

With the early heat wave Arizona has this year, the heat may have any impact on how the monsoon season will proceed.

What are the records?

According to National Weather Service records that go back to 1896, the wettest monsoon was in 1984, when a total of 9.56 inches of rain fell. But the latest season to make the “Top 10 Wettest” list was in 2014, which came in seventh at 6.34 inches.

The driest monsoon on record was in 1924 — only 0.35 inches of rain fell. The most recent season on the “Top 10 Driest” list was in 2007, the fifth-driest on record with 0.74 inches.

According to the Weather Service, La Niña is a term for the cooling of tropical waters from south of Hawaii to about the coast of South America. El Niño is the opposite, bringing warmer temperatures to that region.

How can you prepare?

We can’t do anything to prevent the monsoon, but we can be prepared. Deputy Chief Forrest Smith of the Mesa Fire and Medical Department said sandbags are the best way to divert water from doorways and help to protect your home from flooding during a monsoon storm.

Free sandbags are available for pickup at many fire stations throughout the Valley. Some provide bags and shovels for use, but others require residents to bring their own shovels and bags. You can call your local fire department or check their website to see what you will need to bring to get sandbags for your home.

Visit mesaaz.gov and search for “sandbags” to find tips on how to use sandbags to protect your home from flooding.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-weather/2016/06/12/monsoon-time-arizona-2016/85573530/