Monday, July 30, 2012
For the past few weeks I've periodically posted photos related to the Arizona monsoon and a few of you have commented that you don't think of the desert as a place with monsoon conditions. I did a little reading about the phenomenon and found that the desert plays a huge role in the monsoon. In summer months, the wind shifts from a westerly direction to a southerly direction bringing moisture into the area from the Pacific ocean and the gulf of Mexico. This moist air slams into the intense surface heating of the desert and BAM, storms develop. Sometimes they are just dust storms (we've had a few really big ones lately) and sometimes the product is a heavy thunderstorm.
At this time of year, we see clouds develop in the afternoon and they seem to build and build until early evening. They don't always create a storm but, they do create some spectacular skies. I took the above show through the windshield of my car one afternoon last week. The clouds were especially picturesque.