Living in the Phoenix Heat and Experiencing the Monsoon Season
Nothing like Phoenix in the summer months, barely into June, and today’s expected high is 107. That, of course is in the shade, stand in the sun and it feels more like 120. Oh yeah, I can expect those crazy 115+ temps next month… in the shade. Don’t even think about that, “But it’s a dry heat phrase,” when it’s that hot, you’re gonna sweat and be uncomfortable as hell. I chose to live here, not complaining, merely stating a fact. No place is perfect all the time. We have 4-5 months of extreme heat and the rest of the time is what I consider near-perfect weather.
Definition of Monsoon
Monsoon officially begins around June 15 and runs until September 30 each year. This is the time of year when winds shift, bringing moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California into Arizona. As our sizzling summer heat builds in, that moisture rises and can form powerful thunderstorms.
This can mean many things, or nothing at all. Some years we see heavy rain which can lead to serious even life threatening flooding. Excessive winds reaching 50-60 MPH causing dust storms that literally hinder visibility halting traffic to a stand still. On the other hand, we could experience hardly any rain at all and just experience small dainty dust storms.
In 2014 our ranch was nearly wiped out by a monsoon microburst. Wind speeds in microbursts can reach up to 100 mph or even higher, equivalent to an EF-1 tornado. We lost our barn, destroyed our fences, RV Gates, AC unit, and numerous mature trees. Damages over $75,000. But there was good news too, no animals were hurt, and our house was fine. I had some pretty shook-up chickens though!
Monsoon Prediction for 2021
Phoenix experienced one of the driest monsoons on record last year, and more than 50% of Arizona is experiencing exceptional drought. With that in mind, I’m pleased to hear the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center says most of Arizona could see a wetter than average summer. Now, let’s hope this good news comes with gentle rain and passive winds.