Arizona Monsoon

Summer Thunderstorms in Phoenix Can Be Dangerous

Monsoon is a weather condition that is actually defined as a season. In Arizona, we typically experience monsoon storms during the summer. Humidity levels increase, and the season is marked by wind storms, dust storms, and periods of heavy desert rains. These articles will help residents and visitors understand Arizona's monsoon, learn how to know when the monsoon has officially started, and get tips about living safely with monsoon activity.

A few words about tornados: yes, typically there are a few tornadoes in Arizona every year, but they are not as large, severe or as long-lasting as those that occur in the states with the nickname "tornado alley." More often than not, people who think they see a tornado here are usually experiencing a microburst.

  • 01 of 09
    storm0808raustadt03_640.jpg
    ••• © Dan Raustadt

    Get the basics about our monsoon, including what defines the monsoon, what you can expect and when you can expect it. Also included here are safety tips for living with the monsoon in Phoenix.

  • 02 of 09
    ••• © Samuel Tyree Williams
    When does the Phoenix monsoon start? When does the Phoenix monsoon end? Which was the wettest monsoon on record? Find the answers to these monsoon questions and more!
  • 03 of 09
    ••• © Nicole LeBeau
    What is dewpoint? What does it mean when they say a 55 degree dewpoint? Does it really get down to 55 degrees in Phoenix in the summer? (No!) Here's the simple explanation about dewpoints and Phoenix summer storms.
  • 04 of 09
    ••• © Judy Hedding

    Take a look at these photos of Phoenix dust storms and monsoon storms.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    ••• © Judy Hedding
    You might think that the only serious weather we get in Phoenix is heat, but you'll know differently after you have experienced your first monsoon storm. They can be dangerous, so here is how you know you're in one and what to do when Arizona's monsoon hits.
  • 06 of 09
    ••• © Dan Raustadt
    When summer storms come around, all that wind, dust and rain can cause damage to your home. Beware of bad guys looking to take advantage of your distress by offering cheap home repairs or landscape work after a monsoon storm.
  • 07 of 09
    ••• © Michael R. Venokur

    Tornadoes are relatively uncommon in Arizona, but during the monsoon in Phoenix, there are times when people will report tornado activity. Serious tornados are rare in the desert, and It is more likely that damaging winds occurring after a severe thunderstorm in Phoenix is a microburst.

  • 08 of 09
    ••• © Judy Hedding
    It's a funny name, and it can be amazing to watch, but it isn't much fun if you get caught driving or walking in one. It can be downright dangerous. So what is a haboob?
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    ••• © Elizabeth Smith

    You might think that only people who live near flowing river beds are in danger of experiencing flash floods, but that's not the case. We experience flash flooding in Phoenix, too. When there's lots of water either standing or flowing, don't try to drive through it!