Monsoon season — it happens every June 15, but did you know it wasn’t always like that? Back in the olden days, people considered the monsoon to arrive after three consecutive days with dew points of at least 55 degrees. Forecasters decided to set dates, now June 15 through September 30, to allow us to focus on what a monsoon brings. Keep reading to discover interesting facts you should know about the monsoon season.
There are nearly 500,000 lightning strikes during a monsoon
Take cover or stay indoors during monsoons. Watching the crackle and pop of lightning from afar may seem like a beautiful, natural spectacle, but it is also very dangerous. Most lightning strikes occur more than three miles away from the center of the thunderstorm, with the farthest strike recorded 15 miles away.
Monsoons can cause dust storms
In Arizona, during monsoon season, it is common to see a wall of dust that reaches hundreds of feet in the air. The high winds caused by the thunderstorm lift large amounts of dust, creating an intense dust storm, also known as a “haboob.”
Monsoons are difficult to predict
Because they have few patterns, monsoons are difficult to predict. However, researchers continue to study aspects of the monsoon to improve the forecasting accuracy of these occurrences.
Arizona receives 31.5% of its total annual rainfall during the monsoon season
A large fraction of rainfall in Arizona happens during the summer monsoon months. This has its advantages, as seasonal rains make it possible for agriculture, forests, and inhabitants of the region to store water for the next dry period.
Tucson received 1.62 inches of rain during 2020’s monsoon season
In 2020, Tucson experienced one of its hottest summers ever and the second driest monsoon ever. The only time the monsoon season has brought less rain than 2020 was in 1924 with 1.59 inches.
The last above-average monsoon in Tucson was in 2017
Monsoon season in Tucson usually averages a total of 6.08 inches of rainfall, however in 2017, Tucson brought in a staggering 8.57 inches of rain — the highest in the state that year.
Find out how to prepare for the monsoon season by following these tips.
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