If you are new to the Scottsdale area, you may have noticed the odd traffic sign on the side of the road that says: “Do Not Enter When Flooded.” It may have also occurred to you that it is strange that a sign like this would be posted in the middle of the desert.
This is the time of year when you may actually have the opportunity to pay attention to signs like this.
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The monsoon has arrived in the Scottsdale area – the season officially began on June 15th (although the first storm of the season typically doesn’t happen until early July) and will continue until the end of September.
A monsoon storm typically starts with a dust storm as winds pick up. In a severe dust storm, you can often see a wall of dust, hundreds of feet high, moving across the Valley.
Usually, a monsoon storm is also accompanied by thunder, lighting and a heavy downpour of rain.
It might sound odd, but those of us who spend the summer in Scottsdale get pretty excited when a monsoon storm rolls in. Not only does it cool temperatures as much as 20 degrees, but it also provides the dry, thirsty desert with much needed moisture.
Arizona gets only about 7 inches of rain per year. The monsoon season accounts for 1/3 of our total annual rainfall. In fact, a single monsoon storm can dump up to 1 inch of rain in no time at all.
As a result, dry desert washes can fill up with water, and some surface streets can temporarily flood during a monsoon storm. When that happens, it’s important to pay attention to those traffic signs and do not try to cross a road that is flooded, even if it doesn’t look like a lot of water.
Also, it’s a good idea to respect Mother Nature and take a few precautions during a storm:
- Avoid unnecessary travel
- Stay indoors and away from windows during lightning storms
- Keep flashlights and candles in case of power outages
- Stay out of the swimming pool
- Keep your pets indoors
- Report any power outages
- During a storm, unplug any equipment that is not necessary. Turn off your air conditioner, computers, and copy machine. It’s also recommended to properly ground all electronic devices.
Storm updates are available on both Facebook and Twitter and on many mobile phone services.
Once the storm is over, be sure to go outside and enjoy the fragrance in the desert air – rain brings out the unique odor of creosote bushes, a common desert plant.
Reach out to us for more information on the Scottsdale area.
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255