PHOENIX (Arizona's Weather Authority) -- When it comes to the Arizona monsoon, no season is ever the same. So whether you're new to Arizona or a native, here's a reminder of what you can expect.


People like to say about Phoenix is, "But it's a DRY heat!" That's mostly true until our monsoon pattern sets up. In July and August -- especially August -- you're going to notice it gets pretty humid around here. That moisture is the fuel for our summer thunderstorms.

Storms are most common during the evening and nighttime hours in the Phoenix area and surrounding cities, but don't let your guard down for morning storms. We sometimes get those, too. Our wettest day on record in Phoenix happened after morning rain soaked the Valley in September 2014.

Strong winds, heavy rain, and lightning are our biggest monsoon threats. Get off the golf course or out of the pool if you hear thunder. You're likely close enough to that storm to get struck by lightning.

It's a good idea to check your windshield wipers before the monsoon starts. The intense summer heat might have warped them, which means they won't work when you finally need them.

Dust storm

Another hazard on the roadways is dust storms. They can hit any time of day but are most common in the evenings, sometimes during the evening commute. They tend to blow up quickly. Be sure to pull off the road and turn off your lights if you're caught in a dust storm. Put the car in park and take your foot off the brake, too.

Those dust storms usually happen in the early part of the season -- June and July -- because the land is parched from months and months of dry weather. And in drought years like this one, we tend to see more dust storms than usual. After a dust storm, you'll want to stay inside for a bit because air quality isn't the greatest. And it's not a bad idea to then change your air filters in your home, as well.

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Road flooded

When we finally get decent rain, flash flooding can be a big problem. If you come across a traffic barricade, do not cross it. We have what's been dubbed "Arizona's stupid motorist law." That law means that if you crossed a barricade and had to be rescued, you might have to pay for the costs of the rescue.

By the way, it's not smart to swim in floodwaters after a storm. As health experts will tell you, there are all sorts of bacteria and hazards in that water. Speaking of swimming, your pool will likely need some extra TLC after big storms. Your trees might, as well. So it's a good idea to prune certain trees back now to make them stronger for monsoon storms and their wind.

Strong winds often lead to power outages during monsoon storms. That's why it's a good idea to keep a couple of flashlights with fresh batteries on hand for the season ahead. It never hurts to have a portable charger for your devices, too.

If your power is out, you can get the latest information on how long those outages will last on our website, or in our free mobile app. That's also where you can find the latest radar, rainfall totals, and your updated forecast as we head into this busy storm season ahead.

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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