Floods, Lightning, and Dust Storms
- Where to Go
- The Best of the Valley of the Sun
- Wild West Adventure
- Let Scottsdale Rock Your World
- Finding Water in the Sonoran Desert
- Spring Training
- Arizona Family Road Trip
- Phoenix Points of Pride
- Southwestern Culture and Heritage
- Nocturnal Scottsdale
- Exploring Phoenix’s Architecture
- Unexpected Arizona
- Desert Chic
- Chilly Drinks and Cool Eats in Scottsdale
The Sonoran Desert’s weather, like its landscape, can be severe. Blue, sunny skies can quickly turn ominous when a storm rolls across the horizon, with sheets of rain and forked bolts of lightning. During monsoon season, a wall of dust may even move in from the desert and sweep across the city with impressive speed and not a drop of rain despite a perceptible increase in moisture.
These powerful storms are impressive displays of the desert’s strength, and they can leave motorists, golfers, and swimmers scurrying for cover. Should one of these climatic events occur, don’t take any chances. Immediately get out of a swimming pool or any body of water if you see lightning or even hear thunder. You should also abandon any mountain biking or hiking expeditions (heights!) or rounds of golf (metal clubs!).
Even residents fail to use their best judgment and learn from the experiences of others. These quick deluges can dump inches of rain on the dry desert floor, which is unable to absorb that much water so quickly. As a result, usually dry washes become swiftly moving rivers, trapping cars that attempt to cross them. Freeways can become makeshift canals, filling with water and stranding commuters. When pouring rain or dust storms limit visibility, pull over to the side of the road and wait for conditions to improve, as most storms sweep through quickly.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition