Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Waiting for the Monsoon!

Here in Phoenix, we long for monsoon season to begin. Clouds now hang in the distance teasing us, and weathermen bait us with promises of When will it rain? Find out tonight at 10! Now they're promising us thunderstorms rolling through every evening this week. But last weekend, they predicted storms. Didn't happen!

The monsoon season officially started on June 15, but the dewpoint has to be at 55 for three days in a row in order for rain to fall in the valley. For most of last week, the dewpoint was around 45, but this evening it was finally at 52 with clouds building all around us. I took a long bike ride last Thursday morning under dark purple skies with no fear that I'd get rained on. Little veils hung down from clouds in the distance, but the rain evaporated before it ever hit the ground. But tonight as I stepped outdoors, there were actually sprinkles. Woo hooooo! But we're still not there yet. Anyplace I've lived before, the rain has fallen effortlessly, so it's hard to imagine it's so dang complicated!

Clouds building in the distance, but they won't make it into the valley.

Sprinkles in the pool.

I'm sure it sounds crazy to people in other parts of the country who've been enduring months of rainy stormy weather , but when you live with constant sun, you can't wait for the magnificent lightning shows, the towering walls of dirt (the haboobs), and the drenching rain to break the monotony of the continuous beating sun! Here are a few pictures (not mine) from recent years.


Phoenix Lightning

In monsoon season, I actually watch the local weather. It reminds me of chasing the firetruck when I was a kid growing up in a little town. There's something exciting about watching fools in trucks and SUV's driving through flooded washes and having to be towed out, interstates shut down because Arizona isn't set up to handle much runoff, those little beeps on the television issuing severe storm warnings, etc...

Here's a clip of a massive haboob in 2007. I'll keep you posted!


Vee said...

Haboobs, huh? Interesting. I've learned something new today. Great post, Beck.

Isla Deb said...

I'm with Vee...learned something new today. I googled 'haboob' and there it was...had never heard the term before. Actually, I thought you had made it up yourself! Ha!Ha!Ha!

Life's a Beach! said...

A neighbor of mine is a native Arizonan. She said it used to be called a dirtstorm. Ha! She and her husband have a home up in the mountains and they've been running up there whenever rain's predicted in that area. They love the storms too! Now the weatherman's saying Wednesday evening for rain.

Okay, I didn't say this, but Haboob sounds kind of like a Middle-Eastern taxi driver.

jeanie said...

Wow! That is some scary lightening! I love the word haboob! I must find a way to include it in conversation!

Bennie said...

Wow that's an intresting post Beck. Having not lived in Arizona and only traveling through it's neat to read. I knew about the monsoon season but not the details.

Happy storm chasing.

Anonymous said...

YIKES! How do you breathe during something like that?

How long does it take, in general, to pass over?

What's left in it's wake?