Saturday, August 15, 2020

Wonders of Monsoon Season in Southern Arizona

Gorgeous Flowers and Monsoon Rains

Monsoon in southern Arizona is a colorful, exciting natural wonder. In previous years, winds have revved up suddenly and carried much needed moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California to drench much of southern Arizona. 

Post updated 6/22/2024

See the National Weather Service for more on monsoons. 

Lightening Display and Monsoon Season AZ

Monsoon can be wondrous with its lightening displays and torrential downpours. It is sometimes terrifying as well, especially if there’s a flash flood and people, cars, and property are in the path of the storm.

See the bolt of lightning pictured above and a tree uprooted in a micro-burst below.

severe monsoon may cause winds of more than 100 mph and significant damage.

So far this year, from my vantage point in Tucson, temps have been above 100 degrees Fahrenheit daily, but monsoon rain, blinding dust, damaging winds, and breathtaking lightning shows are few and far between.

I'm grateful for the rain we've had, enough to make flowers on a Texas Ranger bloom. This shrub that grows well in our clime, is also called Texas sage, Texas rain sage, or purple sage. 

Flowers  emerge during monsoon season in shades of lavender, purple, and magenta and one variety is shown in the picture below. To learn ways purple can enhance your life read this.

Red/Orange Bird of Paradise (pictured in first photo above) is a plant with a bright blend of orange, red, or yellow flowers. 

Check out Orange to Your Emotional Rescue and Ways to Use Colors to Improve Work Life Balance. They offer ideas and tips to use color energies to help you thrive.

Saguaro Cactus in Bloom

The Saguaro, a majestic cactus, flowers with a white and yellow bloom that is the Arizona state flower. An illustration right above is a close-up of the flower portion of this plant.  

See details about what's in bloom in Tucson with a virtual visit to Tohono Chul Garden. 

There are 
advantages and disadvantages to monsoon season. This is what the National Geographic Website acknowledges.

The North American monsoon can be a natural aid to firefighters. Summer temperatures in Arizona regularly reach more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, making wildfires difficult to contain. 

The North American monsoon is also the primary water source for most desert ecosystems in the region. 

However, it can also confuse and interrupt daily life for people and businesses not used to dealing with heavy rain.”

I'm thankful for monsoon rains as they add humidity that can help cool the desert. 

Summer storms make vegetation turn green and supply water for summer crops and flowering plants. 

Monsoon is a special time that produces fabulous evening lightning shows. 

Cloud filled skies are a welcome change from a mostly continually blue sky year round. 

During monsoon season, the sky can be filled with storm clouds and/or dust storms. That's one of the main reasons monsoon season has spectacular sunrises and sunsets. 

Sunrise Monsoon Season Tucson AZ
Sunrise Tucson AZ (Aug.) 

Sunset on the Desert with Ocotillo silhouette
Sunset on the Desert with Ocotillo silhouette

Have you ever been in a monsoon storm and which part of the world was it in? 

Do you think you'd like to visit the American southwest in the summer and why or why not?

Have you noticed climate changes in your neck of the woods? I certainly have as I describe above.

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  1. Hi Nancy - I've never associated Arizona with monsoons - I always tie monsoons in with Asian countries and India - with their deluging rain and flooding. I bet the rain is really welcome when it comes and I imagine the desert just soaking it all up (and the residents would be too!) #MLSTL

  2. Thanks Leanne for the visit and comment. Yes, when it actually does rain we dance in the street. Have a beautiful day and be well.

  3. I live in Phoenix and we had a bad one last night. The photo of the up rooted tree reminds me of my neighborhood this morning. Beautiful photo's.

    1. Thanks Rebecca for the visit and comment. Hope the damage from the monsoon wasn't too bad. We sure need the rain, but sometimes it comes with complications. In any event, stay safe and well and please come back again.

  4. Nancy,
    Thanks for such an interesting post. I didn't realize that we have monsoons here in the US. Your photos are spectacular and I love all the beautiful flowers!

    1. Thanks Judee for the visit and kind words. Wishing you a beautiful weekend and that you are well and safe.

  5. Love all your beautiful photos Nancy! I lived in AZ for a while and I remember those amazing rains - really something!

    Thanks for the interesting read and lovely colors!

    1. Happy you visited and thanks for your kind words. Will visit your blog again, as I liked what I saw. Have a lovely day and stay safe and well.

  6. Wow! So fascinating. I had no idea Arizona even had a monsoon season.

    1. Just noticed I didn't see this comment until 2022. Better late than never. Thanks Amy Johnson for your comment and have a fantastic day.

  7. I was unaware that there was a monsoon season! It's amazing how nature can be this beautifully destructive, yet necessary force. Thanks for sharing this, it was very fascinating!

    1. Thanks Megan for the visit. Desert weather does fascinate me too and glad you found it so.

  8. Fascinating read! I didn’t realize Arizona was so prone to monsoons! I think I would chance a visit during monsoon season, it sounds like it would be an experience! I live in the Midwest so we can have snow and 70 degrees in the same week!

    1. I'm sure you'll be amazed and delighted when you travel here. Monsoon season is spectacular. Thanks for the visit and comment and have a great day.

  9. Nancy, wow your photos are stunning! I appreciate hearing about Monsoon in Southern Arizona.
    Visiting today from Hearth & Soul #14&15

  10. Visiting Arizona often as a NPS volunteer you begin to recognize the water ways, and know lots of water comes down to need them!