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Arizona Monsoon Awareness Week

June 06
15:52 2014

Governor Jan Brewer has proclaimed June 8 to 13 as Arizona Monsoon Awareness Week. Arizona’s monsoon season starts in June and ends mid-September. Basically a wind shift, the resulting heat, higher humidity and thunderstorms create severe weather. During the winter, Arizona’s primary wind flow is from the west or northwest, from California and Nevada. According to Arizona State University, summer winds shift to a southern or southeasterly direction bringing moisture from the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The resulting thunderstorms often cause localized flash flooding, dust storms and lightning-caused wildfires.

desertlight_smallBeing aware of these monsoon-related risks can help you prepare. Last summer’s downpours caused flash flooding in Honey Draw and extensive damage to Highway 89, the Maverick gas station, and Haul Road. Flash flooding can turn a dry wash or a scenic canyon into a roiling tumble of mud, water and debris as rains ten miles or more away rush across slick rock, pick up sand and debris, and are funneled into narrow spaces that are difficult to escape. You are urged to stay out of flash flood prone areas on foot or in a vehicle when there are thunderstorms in the area.

Be aware of monsoon dangers and formulate a plan. Bookmark www.AzEIN.gov for emergency updates and preparedness information. Taking a CPR and a First Aid class can equip you to help family, friends, and coworkers in emergency situations.

Link to video of 2013 Highway 89 flooding here.

Special to Lake Powell Life by Pam Brown.

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