This time of year is always an interesting one to live in Phoenix. We not only get the pleasure of temperatures that often fail to dip below 100 degrees Fahrenheit but we also face a serious threat of monsoons striking with little notice. A monsoon can form during the summer in Arizona when there is a variance of temperatures between the water and the land. As Arizona does not have a ton of water itself, the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California have a lot to do with our weather.
Several monsoons have hit in and around Maricopa County this week and consumers are feeling the fallout of these events. One storm on Wednesday night left more than 2,000 customers without power in the San Tan Valley and caused some localized flooding and other road-related safety issues.
With monsoon season here, it is a good idea to think about what you can do to keep yourself and your family safe.
The best thing to do is to stay informed. Know the upcoming weather forecast and keep an eye out for discussions of potential big storms, including monsoons, in your area. If heavy rain is predicted, do your best to schedule your activities around the storm so that you will not be caught off guard when the water falls.
It is always best to be inside during a monsoon. Your home, office, or a large building can be a good place to ride out the storm for a while. Make sure you have the items necessary to stay comfortable in case the storm lasts for an hour or longer, including some food and water. Also, know where a flashlight or other light-generating device is in case you end up losing power due to extreme winds or lightening.
One of the biggest threats during monsoon season is driving during the rain. Unfortunately, monsoons lead to conditions where localized flooding happens in Arizona and where driving on any street – flooded or not- can be unsafe. If you know that a monsoon is likely to strike, do your best to avoid driving if at all possible. If there is an emergency or if a monsoon strikes without warning and you find yourself on the street, make sure you slow down and stop if necessary to keep yourself safe. Avoid the temptation to stop in the middle of a highway or a street and instead look for a safe parking lot or other area where stopped vehicles are expected. If conditions worsen, leave your vehicle if you can do so safely and make your way indoors to a safe location. Do not leave your vehicle if doing so will threaten your immediate safety.
Do not attempt to continue driving in a monsoon. Conditions can change in a moment during these storms and the rain that was heavy by manageable may turn into a nightmare in moments. Instead, use more caution than seems necessary and avoid any spots with standing or moving water to limit your odds of a car accident taking place.
Prior Blog Entry:
Jeep Recall Investigated in Hollywood Death, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published June 28, 2016.
Monsoon storm lights up San Tan Valley, Superstitions, Adrian Hedden, The Republic, azcentral.com, published June 29, 2016.