Monsoon Season is Here! Jun 17, 2017

The extreme heat in the southwest is a reminder of the change of season. Not only is it summer, but the Southwest US Monsoon season is now in full swing. Heat is the most deadly weather-related cause of death in the U.S. with an average of over 300 deaths per year – much greater than all other weather-related deaths. The Southwest U.S. is susceptible to extreme temperatures with highs commonly reaching above 110 degrees. In addition, during the monsoon, humidity levels reach high levels and lead to exceptionally warm evenings with low temperatures sometimes not dropping below 90 degrees.

What is the North American Monsoon?

The word monsoon is derived from the Arabic word “mausim,” which means season. Traders plying the waters off the Arabian and Indian coasts noted for centuries that dry northeast winds in the winter suddenly turn to the southwest during the summer, and bring beneficial yet torrential rains to the Asian subcontinent. In North America, the Monsoon impacts Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Texas, California, and Mexico.

The wind shifts we see during Monsoon season, and the dramatic change in weather they bring, are all more or less driven by a similar mechanism. For much of the year, low level winds in dry subtropical regions tend to blow from the land toward the sea. However by late spring, strong solar heating causes temperatures to soar over these land areas. The intense heat causes surface air pressure to fall, forming an area of low pressure known as a thermal low. Adjacent large bodies of water are also warmed, but not as quickly. Thus air pressures remain high relative to the land. Eventually, the pressure difference increases to the point that the cooler and much more humid air over the ocean is drawn toward the hot, dry air over land. This moist air moving onto the hot land eventually becomes unstable and develops into thunderstorms. Once this occurs and rain begins to fall, humidity levels increase over land, which only triggers more thunderstorms. This cycle will continue until land areas begin to cool in the early fall and water temperatures reach their peak in early fall. This reduces the pressure difference, which in turn causes the moist onshore flow to diminish, and the monsoon gradually ends. The Monsoon seasons brings welcome rains and relief from the summer heat. For some areas, over 50% of annual rain falls during the monsoon. However for us in Arizona, this is the most dangerous time of the year weather-wise. Monsoon storms can cause damaging winds, torrential rainfall, frequent lightning and dust storms. That is why it is a very good idea to review the safety tips.

Here’s what the National Weather Service is forecasting for this year’s season:

For more info on the hazards of monsoon season and how you can prepare, click here.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweets

Beat the weather– your guide to better sleep this fall: https://t.co/M9c2pWLxoz

2 hours ago by WeatherNation

Rain is finally on the way for California. @NWSBayArea says the moisture will help in fighting the deadly… https://t.co/eAGZu8xWK2

2 hours ago by WeatherNation

Officials flew over the east side of #PuertoRico today to assess the damage to power lines following #HurricaneMaria https://t.co/wFvzPS0Wqt

3 hours ago by WeatherNation

NEW: Some moisture is returning to northern California, but also gusty winds. A winter weather advisory has been is… https://t.co/7tTQIRKbj7

3 hours ago by WeatherNation

Lots of talk over the last week about Yellowstone and a Super Volcano - what is it, and do we have to worry about i… https://t.co/SoJKobPaeQ

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

.@LovelandSkiArea opens THIS Friday! Here are some things you should know if you plan to stop by ⛷️🏂 https://t.co/P0BrZ0qrOY

5 hours ago by WeatherNation

A 3D look at Hurricane Ophelia as it approached Ireland: https://t.co/5eK8NPupW4 https://t.co/evU6MXes3W

5 hours ago by WeatherNation

How convection in the atmosphere fuels storms. The story: https://t.co/6eqHmT2eHj

7 hours ago by WeatherNation

More snow in the forecast for the Northern Rockies! #Snow #WeatherNation -->https://t.co/9F2JEtCxOH

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

RT @JoshCozartWx: Wow! Did you get a chance to catch a glimpse of this morning's #sunrise out of Thornton, CO?! #COwx @WeatherNation https:…

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

Explore Earth’s deepest point, The Mariana Trench, from your computer: https://t.co/IAWRao2AT8 https://t.co/030BVlbpk0

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

HIGH SURF expected on the California and Oregon coasts. Waves could break onshore over 20 feet high! #PacificOceanhttps://t.co/4SHMtoH9dN

10 hours ago by WeatherNation

Feeling a little dry in Denver? You're not alone. Here's why with our affiliate @9NEWS: https://t.co/9h4DzaDrB4 https://t.co/rMQ6kyR7az

14 hours ago by WeatherNation

Frost and Freeze Alerts are in effect this morning across parts of the east. More on #WeatherNation this morning. https://t.co/LCCzjtiOJt

16 hours ago by WeatherNation

Some relief is on the way for fire-stricken California. How much rain and when: #CAwx https://t.co/xbsFEhZ8y2 https://t.co/59GFarkr4x

20 hours ago by WeatherNation

Well, that looks scary! Cargo ship outside of Cork, Ireland enduring rough seas from Former #HurricaneOphelia. https://t.co/X2rcGbu54P

17 October by WeatherNation

Simply BEAUTIFUL! The latest in #FallFoliage pics from across the country. https://t.co/5qVWLzgVVE

17 October by WeatherNation

Another night of cold temperatures is ahead in the Middle Atlantic with the potential for frost -… https://t.co/toEdEbHz05

17 October by WeatherNation

Blue Sky Over Denver: The weather has been warm and #sunny across #Colorado this week. It'll continue into Friday!… https://t.co/RUzVUwPS61

17 October by WeatherNation
Follow Us