The 5 best things about the Arizona monsoon

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

It's that time of the year again! The Arizona monsoon starts Friday and boy are we excited! Here are the top five best things about the monsoon in Arizona. 

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona monsoon 2018]

1. The rain!

It's been painfully dry this year so ANY amount of rain is welcome.

The monsoon is when we see a significant uptick in precipitation in the Valley. On average the summer monsoon brings Phoenix 2.8 inches of rain. 

[KEEP TRACK: Rain totals (Past 24 hours and one year)]

[SNEAK PEEK: Monsoon forecast]

[GOOD REASON FOR WORRY: Dry winter sparks governor's wildfire season concerns]

[READ MORE: Forecasters report elevated danger of wildfires in Arizona]

[AND THIS: Gov. Ducey: Warm winter means challenging wildfire season ahead]

2. The lightning show!

Now, of course, this comes with the threat of wildfire, but boy can the monsoon put on a spectacular light show! Some amazing pics come out of our monsoon storms each year and we love sharing them on air. As always, use caution if you plan to take pictures of lightning; preferably do it from indoors.

[RELATED: Arizona lightning by Royal Norman]

[GETTING THE SHOT: Tips for taking great weather pictures]

[SLIDESHOW: Best of Arizona's 2017 monsoon]

3. The cooler temperatures!

There nothing like a huge storm to help drop our temperatures on a blisteringly hot and humid day. As rain falls through the storm column, it drags cooler air down with it. This cool air can drop temperatures quickly, bringing a brief respite to our painfully hot summers. 

[WEATHER: Arizona forecast | 7-day forecast]

4. The wonderful smell of "rain"!

I use quotes because in most cases you're not smelling just the rain after a monsoon thunderstorm. The Sonoran Desert is filled with the creosote bush which is what brings us that sweet desert smell after a fresh rain

[RELATED: What causes the sweet smell of rain in Arizona?]

5. The sunsets!

The monsoon means storms and storms mean clouds. Clouds lead to vibrant and amazing sunsets. Right after a storm at sunset, we can get some pretty beautiful sunsets filled with pinks, oranges and yellow. 

[RELATED: Like to keep an eye on the sky?]

[MORE: Weather blog]


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Ian SchwartzAn Arizona native, born and raised in Mesa, and graduate of Arizona State University, Ian Schwartz is thrilled to be back in the Valley of the Sun.

Click to learn more about Ian.

Ian Schwartz
Wake Up Meteorologist

After starting his journalism career in Illinois, Ian worked in Albuquerque and later Sacramento. In the field as a reporter, he has covered flash floods, blizzards, tornadoes, wildfires, drought and just about everything the weather can offer. After spending some time reporting, Ian decided to further his education and completed Mississippi State's broadcast meteorology program. Ian loves everything about Arizona weather from winter storms in the north to the monsoon in the south. When Ian isn't giving you the forecast in the morning, you can find him hiking, traveling and exploring everything our great state has to offer. If you have any weather pictures or want to say hi, drop him an email or connect online.

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