After the uncommonly cool spring, Arizona started to heat up rapidly. Recently, the weather service has announced that high temperature during the first days of summer reached around 111 degrees. For the largest part of the year, the winds in Arizona come from the west, bringing dry air. During the second half of June and throughout the summer months, the wind changes direction and blows from the south, bringing humid air.
According to meteorologists in Prescott, the waters in the Gulf of Mexico are still cool and are delaying the storms. On average, Arizona has over 2.71 inches of rain. The dried out ground cannot absorb one-third of yearly rainfall, which makes some parts of the state in danger of floods. Although the monsoon may knock on Arizona’s doors later than expected, city officials still claim it is necessary for residents to prepare.
Tempe city officials organized a monsoon preparedness assembly at the beginning of the month. In association with the Tempe Police Department, as well as Fire and Medical Rescue team, they addressed the “Sandbag operation.” Apart from explaining the major points for the necessary equipment in case of danger, the police also gave out tips to the gathered citizens on how to stay safe during the monsoon season.
The primary advice from the Police Department was to stay away from downed power lines. As a general rule, citizens were advised to clear debris from roof gutters and storm drains, have plenty of water supplies, clothes, and medicine. These basic supplies are necessary because in case the area experiences flash flooding, the residents will need to relocate quickly.
Sargent Tommy Thompson from Phoenix Police Department suggested that the drivers stay away from the flooded streets. According to him, two years back, the police department dealt with a severe case of floods, where eight lives were lost in northern Phoenix. According to the National Weather Service, it takes one or two feet of water to float even a pickup truck.
The Arizona monsoon season starts around June 15 and lasts until September 30. When the temperature rises over 55 degrees, there is a possibility of instant hail, dust storms, and rainfalls turning roads into rivers.