PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Haboobs are impressive to see. The giant walls of dust that blanket areas of Arizona almost every year, are signs that the monsoon is here.

“The first thunderstorms of the year don't have a lot of precipitation. They kind of have a dry outflow from them -- like a dry downburst" said Nancy Selover, an Arizona climatologist.

But this year, we haven't had a one.

What would lead to a non-dust storm in monsoon season? A few factors come into play.

"Previous years, we had very dry winters. This year, we had a really great winter with lots of precipitation statewide and then into the spring. It kind of continued, and we even saw some light showers late May into June when typically we are very dry," said Selover.

An over saturated desert floor means no loose dirt for the winds to pick up.

"The rain kind of tamped it down, and it hasn’t had enough time to totally dry out,” said Selover.

Our wet winter also led to extra vegetation growth in our desert that helps keep the dust down.

"Even though some of it's dead now, it's still there, and it still has roots and helps keep the soil intact," said Selover.

With most of this year’s storms bringing rain right away, Selover says we might not see a haboob or big dust storm.

"I mean, we'll have some dust I’m sure but not much," said Selover.

 


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