Did you know the Sonoran Desert has 5 seasons? The monsoon "season" officially arrives June 15th and runs through September 30th. According to the Arizona Desert Museum, "the word monsoon refers to a system of winds that changes seasonally, bringing wet and dry periods to a region." So far it has been a crazy monsoon season!! In a normal year through the end of July, Tucson averages 5.47 inches of rain. July alone recorded 6.8 inches of rain which makes it the wettest July on record....wowza! Maybe you heard about the recent rescue of hikers in Sabino Canyon? Weather conditions can turn on a dime and flash floods can come out of nowhere. I always keep extra umbrellas and towels in my car during monsoon season. You never know when a storm might pop up. One benefit to home shopping during monsoon season is roof leaks are very obvious!
We can’t be sure how wet August will be, but please be safe! Use the following as a guide when traveling around town. Check out more information about monsoons at Desert Storms . The following tips courtesy of monsoonsafety.org :
More deaths each year occur due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazard because people underestimate the force and power of water. Many of the deaths occur in automobiles that are swept downstream
- Driving around barricades is illegal and dangerous.
- Do not let children play near storm drains or washes after a heavy rain.
- Avoid low-water crossings.
- Avoid camping in a wash or in the bottom of a canyon with steep side slopes.
- Be especially cautious at night. Flood dangers are much more difficult to see in the dark.
- Even a less serious urban flood can be dangerous. Driving too fast through standing water can cause a car to hydroplane. The best defense is to slow down or pull well off the road (with the lights off) for a few minutes to wait out heavy rains.
- Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast.
- Do not attempt to cross flowing streams.
- Do not camp or park a vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
- If flooding occurs, get to higher ground. Get out of areas subject to flooding. This includes dips, low spots, canyons, washes, etc.
- Roadbeds may be washed out under floodwaters. Never drive through flooded roadways.
- If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
- If a traffic signal is out, treat the intersection as a 4-way stop.
- As little as ten inches of water can float average-sized cars, mini-vans, SUVs and trucks. Strength of the flow is the critical force.
- When in doubt, wait it out, or find a safer route.