Gallery: Verde Valley gets healthy dose of monsoons

Clouds over State Route 89A near Cottonwood. Photo courtesy of John Fink

Clouds over State Route 89A near Cottonwood. Photo courtesy of John Fink

The Verde Valley finally got its healthy dose of rain the last couple of weeks as monsoon season makes its way through the state.

Residents from all over the Verde Valley submitted some of their best storm photos.

According to NWS, monsoon comes from the Arabic word “mausun,” which means seasons. For centuries, it was noted by traders along the Arabian and Indian coasts that the dry northeast winds in the winter would suddenly turn southwest in the summertime.

A similar phenomenon occurs in the American Southwest. Most of the year, low-level winds in the region blow from land toward the sea. By late spring however, solar heating causes temperatures to skyrocket and surface air pressure to fall. This forms an area of low pressure known as thermal low. Eventually, the pressure difference increases until the cooler and more humid air over the ocean is drawn to the hot, dry air on land. This occurrence eventually develops into thunderstorms.

For some areas, 50 percent of the annual rainfall occurs during monsoon season.

David Byers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service based in Flagstaff, said this year will be an “above normal” monsoon season.

DPS advises those caught in a monsoon to reduce speed to help reduce hydroplaning. The Arizona Department of Transpiration advises drivers to inspect their vehicle before driving and to avoid sudden braking on wet pavement.

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