Summertime wind shifts in Arizona cause a meteorological phenomenon known as monsoon thunderstorms. Residents of The Grand Canyon State either welcome the monsoons or are eager for the season to end. Regardless, heavy rains during monsoon season can unleash a torrent of water damage.
Translated from Arabic to English, monsoon means “season”. Monsoons are familiar natural events in Australia, South Asia and Malaysia. Arizona, too, is added to the list of monsoon-prone areas of the world. The Arizona monsoon hits every summer throughout southwest North America.
When is the Arizona monsoon season?
In Arizona and other parts of the American southwest, the official monsoon season begins in summer, starting June 15 and ending September 30. While tourists to The Grand Canyon State are aware of its dry heat, locals know the intense summer heat is coupled with heavy rains during monsoon season.
How do Arizona monsoon thunderstorms form?
Monsoon season is an annual time of dramatic wind shifts. In fact, monsoons are more accurately correlated with winds than with precipitation. Normally, in winter, winds flow through Arizona from the west or northwest, such as from California or Nevada.
As the Arizona summer approaches, the winds change to a southerly or southeasterly course. The Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico force moisture streams northward. As a result of the radical wind shifts, moisture conditions significantly alter throughout The Grand Canyon State.
Two meteorological alterations are responsible for Arizona’s sweeping wind shifts. One is the Bermuda High, which is the northward movement of upper air subtropical high-pressure cells. The second is the thermal low, which occurs when the high heat of the desert creates rising air and surface low pressure.
The combination of the Bermuda High and thermal low causes southerly winds to flow through Arizona. These winds push moisture northward from Mexico. Although the Gulf of Mexico is thought to be the source region, the assumption is currently being researched by The Southwest Area Monsoon Project.
What conditions lead to Arizona monsoon thunderstorms?
Monsoons primarily derive their power from concentrated surface heating. A moisture influx into the state is the second component of a monsoon. Conditions that lead to monsoon thunderstorms include three consecutive days of dew points averaging 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
Additionally, Arizona’s weather conditions must facilitate the monsoon thunderstorms. In Phoenix, for instance, ideal temperatures for monsoon production range from 100 to 108 degrees Fahrenheit, with 105 degrees Fahrenheit being optimal. Temps in Tucson may be lower to produce the storms.
What are dangers of Arizona’s monsoon thunderstorms?
Arizona is famous for its deserts, including the Mojave Desert along the western part of the state. Surprisingly, flooding is a common occurrence during monsoon season. Rather than the annual 12.5 inches of rain being spread out over the year, the precipitation falls all at once in Arizona.
The dry, hard soil in Arizona fails to adequately absorb rainwater. As a result, sudden downpours lead to rainwater collecting in dry riverbeds, called washes. Rainwater travels at high speeds in washes, making it perilous for residents to be near washes or other low desert regions.
Arizona cities are also susceptible to flooding during monsoon season. With substantial rainfall, highways, roads and low-lying underpasses flood. Homes built on low-lying areas are just as vulnerable, which is the reason Arizona residents are urged to purchase separate flood insurance.
What is the 2021 monsoon season forecast for Arizona?
Arizona’s monsoon season 2021 has begun. Residents can expect a range of weather hazards, including heavy rains, dust storms, lightning and strong outflow winds. All of these dangers can lead to flash flooding. Flash flood warnings have already been issued in certain parts of the state.
This year, precipitation is expected to be higher than average in Northern Arizona. The forecasted precipitation will likely lead to a wetter monsoon season, especially in July. For residents, moisture conditions may mean a break from the severe drought they currently experience.
The state’s local weather service has issued flash flood warnings as recently as July 13, 2021, for parts of Arizona. The numerous area fires have led to a loss of vegetation, which thereby increases runoff and the chances for severe localized flash flooding.
How does monsoon thunderstorm flooding affect properties?
Property owners in Arizona should be extra careful during monsoon season, especially if the home is located within a flood zone. Rising flood waters can easily lead to extensive water damage. Plus, safety is jeopardized; homeowners may need emergency help evacuating their homes.
Water damage to Arizona properties is a stark reality when monsoon season hits. Floodwater can cause damage to foundations; or, the water finds entry into low-level homes and causes severe ruin. Arizona residents must also face the everyday possibilities of broken or leaking pipes and burst sewage pipes.
When your Arizona home or business is adversely affected by monsoon thunderstorms, rely on ServiceMaster All Care Restoration for quality water damage restoration services. Our skilled technicians work fast to limit the spread of water damage to other parts of the property.
Wood, drywall, flooring, furnishings and other porous materials absorb floodwaters. These materials become warped, stained or rotted. Mold infestations can also develop when water damage is left unaddressed. Prevent unnecessary ruin by calling in the water damage cleanup pros at ServiceMaster.
ServiceMaster All Care Restoration specialists first assess the extent of water damage. We extract all excess moisture from the property using advanced equipment. Powerful dehumidifiers and air movers dry the property. Our technicians thoroughly clean and restore affected possessions and areas.
Our water damage cleanup services are essential for Arizona property owners, especially during the height of monsoon season. We also return properties to their pre-loss condition when pipes burst, appliances leak, the sewage backs up, or plumbing issues arise and cause water damage.
Water damage restoration is warranted during monsoon season and every day of the year. ServiceMaster All Care Restoration responds to emergency water damage disasters in Phoenix, Arizona, and its surrounding Maricopa and Pima Counties. Call us today for quality water damage cleanup.