The Phoenix area, also known as the valley of the sun, receives most of its rainfall during the summer months. This time is known as the summer 'monsoon' and it runs from June until September. Storms often build up around the valley during the day and move in when the extreme heat of the day dissipates usually appearing in the evening and overnight hours. These storms can be violent and are often characterized by thunder and lightning.
During these thunderstorms it is not unusual to see flooding and downed trees due to high winds and heavy rainfall. Flash floods occur when there is a rapid downfall of rain in a short period of time. The ground cannot absorb all of this water and so dry creeks run and water accumulates in them making it hazardous for both people and vehicles. Often these flash floods are preceded by dust storms or ‘haboobs’ which impairs visibility and makes getting around even more treacherous.
Lightning strikes are common, and people can be injured, buildings can be damaged and forest fires can start. During thunderstorms it is advisable for people to seek shelter or stay in their homes or vehicles.
There can also be dry thunderstorms when the rain evaporates due to heat before it hits the ground. During this time it is advisable to seek protection from lightning. Thunderstorms can also produce hail, microbursts and even small tornados. During these types of weather conditions it is advisable to seek immediate shelter.
Extreme weather warnings are often given during this time of year. It is recommended that these are taken into account if you are headed out of your house or place of business so that you can avoid intense thunderstorm activity until it safely passes.
Phoenix Summer Thunderstorm Videos