Bring on the monsoons!!

Intellicast is on a browser window at our home now, nearly nonstop, since the monsoon season began.  We excitedly watch the cloudcover online and outside, willing the rain-heavy clouds to come our way.  It has rained here both yesterday and today.  That doesn’t seem all that much, probably, to most of you.  But we had a really dry winter and no rain, so far, this summer;  I think it had been more than four months since it had rained here. 

Calling Phoenix’s monsoons “monsoons” might seem laughable to folks, say, in India.  After all, we still only get a total of about 7.5″ per year of rain here.  It is still a desert.  However, we go from about 5-10% humidity to about 30-40%, and from cloudless, bright blue skies, to skies resplendent with puffy white clouds that lend themselves to brilliantly colored sunsets, and which dump three or four inches of rain over the course of 2-3 months.

The last few weeks have seen unrelenting heat… days on end with 110*+ heat.  I can’t tell you how joyful it makes me feel to look at our current weather and see it in the 80s.  Even a few sprinkles make me pleased, but the last couple of days, we’ve had actual rain, which really makes me giddy.  And, it’s not your namby-pamby wimpy drippy Midwest downpour.  No, these are storms with whipping winds, frequent lightning, and rolling, cracking thunder.  Then, it clears for a bit, leaving sparkling scenery with rain-scrubbed air and the pungent smell of creosote and ozone on the remaining breeze.  Ahh….

There’s also water running in the usually-dry creek and riverbeds, and nightly news reports of dorks who think their Hummers are more powerful than the roiling, muddy waters, and who have to get rescued while their Hummer gets transported downstream.  Arizona even has a Stupid Motorist Law that says that if you are one of the ones who drive around the barricades, or try to drive through a flooded street and have to get plucked from the roof of your vehicle by helicopter (or however the help comes), then you have to not only pay a fine, but foot the cost of the rescue.

I hate the heat of the Phoenix area, but I really love the storms.   

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on July 24, 2007, in Arizona, Interesting Websites, Life in the Desert, Loving Nature!, Weather. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I like storms, too, just not the kind that produce tornadoes and deadly winds. Rain is nice. We could use some, in fact.

    Enjoy your monsoon season!

  2. We should have traded places for awhile! We’ve had enough rain to share with the whole country for the last couple of months! I think we had 7.5 inches of rain in a couple of days recently!

    I have to share this too because it’s funny to me. We moved to the Phoenix area for a brief stay quite a few years ago and I remember there were three things about the weather that were funny to us. One of them is just like you described – the monsoon season. We were cracking up because it hardly rained at all but that was the word that everybody used to describe the season. Also, we had someone, in all seriousness, ask us if it was as humid where we were from as it is there. I think the humidity at the time was like 10% or something – I don’t think the humidity here has ever been that low here! We have close to 100% humidity frequently (or at least 90%)! It’s not always that high mind you, but it sure gets humid here!! And the last thing was when it was about 50 degrees or so outside and people started wearing coats. We were still wearing clothing that was somewhat summery!

    Now, just so you know – I’m not saying all this to make fun of people who live in Phoenix at all!! My point is to share how we all get accustomed to the area we live in and it’s normal to us but so different from other parts of the country. 🙂

  3. Mrs. N ~ Other than the searing summer heat, Phoenix really is about perfect, weather-wise. We have no tornadoes. We have no ice storms. We have no hurricanes. We don’t even have fog, except once or twice a year. Only with extreme rareness do we have any widespread flooding. (We have among the best systems of storm drains in the country — maybe the best — to accomodate for the storms we do have, because the soil is so hard and clay-like that water runoff is a real problem.) We don’t have claustrophobic humidity. We do have an occasional summertime “microburst” which causes some wind damage. And, there are frequently uprooted trees during any kind of storm, because it’s hard to get the trees deeprooted (virtually all trees out here have to be watered on a drip irrigation system, and the trees ‘naturally’ know to not send their roots too deep, because the watersource is at the soil’s surface). We don’t have earthquakes, either, but that’s not really weather. I guess every locale has its plusses and minuses. I used to hate it here, but I think, in general, there are more reasons to stay here than to leave. 🙂

    MLBAH ~ Ah, the Midwest humidity. I used to spend summers in Quincy, IL, along the Mississippi, and days would frequently see 100* and 100% humidity. The water would literally condense on you as you walked outside. I also went to college in New Orleans, which is very humid. Humidity never bothered me, though, like it does some. One just gets used to being somewhat damp. 🙂 The monsoon season here is truly a documented yearly weather phenomenon, though it isn’t as dramatic as in most locations that have monsoons. Some years see torrential rains and hail and the like, and other years are drier. You must have been here in a drier year. And, truly, we get used to the weather we are surrounded by. One can acclimate quickly, though. I remember spending a summer in Ketchikan, Alaska, and panting at the sweltering “heat,” wearing a tank top and shorts as it reached ~gasp~ 74* one day. But, when the summer days are usually in the 50s to low-60s, even the lower 70s really did seem hot!

  4. Let it rain, let it rain, Open the windows of heaven and let it rain…….

  5. Yep, I wish I could send you some of our rain. I’m starting to think I’m going to see Noah float by any minute now.

  6. Just today we got about 2.5 inches of rain in three hours. And of course my daughter insisted that we play outside in the rain for two hours.

  7. I’ve been thinking about this post for the last few days with the humidity being in the 70%s. It’s 87% right now, but it is also raining on and off. Ahhh, the relief of rain. Three days of rain after weeks and weeks with mostly no rain.

  8. Stupid motorist laws. I like those. They should have some of those in every state.

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