is a time during July, August, and September when the weather is unusually
hot, humid, and windy. We receive more than 30% of our annual rainfall
during this season.
The drastic change in weather is caused
first by excessive heat in May and June, creating low pressures that "suck"
moisture in from the Sea of Cortez and the Gulf of Mexico beginning in
July. This moisture forms storm clouds throughout the state, primarily
in the south, and more mild moving north.
is high winds causing dust storms (literally creating a "wall of dust"),
electrical storms, and flash floods.
The largest problem caused by dust storms is low visibility. When
driving during a dust storm, which can come out of nowhere, it can be difficult
to see the vehicle in front of you. If visibility becomes an issue, pull
into a safe place, like a parking lot, and park until the dust clears.
If at all possible, stay inside your vehicle with the windows rolled up.
Dust in your eyes is not comfortable.
During electrical storms, it is advised to stay indoors or in a vehicle
(non-convertible). If going indoors isn't possible, stay away from tall
trees, poles, metal wiring, and metal fences. If in a wooded area, find
small shrubs to stand near or under. For open areas, try to stay in low
areas and valleys. If you feel your hair stand on end, that's an indication
that lightning may be about to strike you. Drop to your knees and put
your hands on your knees; don't lay down.
are caused by the hard and baked desert floor being barely capable
of absorbing water. With nowhere to go, water builds up quickly when it
rains. Lower areas tend to flood quickly, and many are labeled with warning
signs. In spite of the warnings, there is no shortage of footage on the
evening news of vehicles trapped in water because the drivers failed to
heed the signs' warnings.
In spite of the minor inconveniences
of the monsoon