Our monsoon

In no way can you realistically compare the monsoon season in Arizona with the one in, say, Bangladesh.  Although our monsoon describes the rainy season, it is more humidity than rainfall.  We swelter, day and night, but rarely wade in anything other than our own sweat.

Thunderclouds to the north as seen from Metro Center.
Thunderclouds to the north as seen from Metro Center.

One of the benefits of our monsoon is the beauty of the thunderclouds that appear on our horizons.  Mostly these clouds gather in high places, above the Mogollon Rim and the Mazatzals to the north and the Sierra Anchas and Superstitions to the east.  While gather they do, the fierce-looking thunderclouds do not always have the strong heart to venture down into central Phoenix’s inferno.  Today, while admiring the clouds, I also noticed the temperature at 113 F.  That is record heat for this date.

Looking east in central Phoenix.
Looking east in central Phoenix.

When in 1979 I moved to Phoenix from the Great Plains, I so missed the rain that I chased storms.  I would see those giant thunderclouds and quickly hop into my little green Datsun and head out.  I particularly recall one of my adventures to find the rain.   I traveled north on Interstate 17 and ran into rain 40 miles away near Black Canyon City.  It was so heavy that I could not see the road 20 yards in front.  Headlights made matters worse.  What I remember most about that trip were the zillions of little toads that emerged out of nowhere and began hopping about the pavement and squishing under the tires.

I hope today’s thunderclouds give us a much-needed visit.   We’re in a drought while other places, like Kansas this year, are inundated.  But I will not chase.  Killing toads put a damper on my enthusiasm.


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