Monday, July 30, 2012

Arizona Monsoon


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.

16 comments:

Kathy said...

Like all the other extreme weather phenomena this summer, you're having a very active monsoon season this year! I don't miss the monsoons but I sure miss those beautiful skies!

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

Clouds developing like that in the afternoon certainly foreshadow a possible cloudburst in a couple of hours.

Jack said...

Thanks for the education. I am one of those who was surprised to read about monsoons in Phoenix. You see much more sky in Arizona than we do in New England. In our area, the trees are so dense that we usually just get views of the sky immediately overhead.

This is a lovely tree-lined streed.

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

it was quite a storm last night

Birdman said...

Thanks for this information. I'm not that familiar with desert living and its rains.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

The clouds do look like they're building up a bit there Sharon, I must say i love the tall palms with the underplanting of smaller trees along the side of the road, very attractive symmetry.

Magpie said...

And our clouds yesterday brought the hoped for rain! Yeah!

RedPat said...

The sky is wonderful but it is the line of trees that fascinates me here. Great shot.

Lowell said...

Your summer weather is very similar to ours...except that we're not so hot but more humid. This time of year we can expect thunderstorms most afternoons and the cloud formations are fabulous - like this one!

Karl Demetz said...

Monsoon or not, the sky is beautiful !!

Bruce Taylor, a.k.a. Catalyst said...

Actually the term "monsoon" only refers to the change in wind direction. The rain is just an added plus.

Madge Bloom said...

I've been seeing huge dust storms on the news...

Judy said...

I like this picture a lot. The row of palms lead the eye to the wonderful cloud formation.

Randy said...

Looks like you were close to Central High.

Thérèse said...

I miss the clouds but not the monsoons :-)
Love the picture!

JM said...

Great perspective and contrast on the road sides.