The storm clouds can build up at any time of the day. A beautiful blue sky can turn dark black and threatening within a surprising quick time. The picture below shows visitors at the Arizona Sonara Desert museum unsuspecting of the heavy rain about to fall.
The sudden temparature drop, along with the very large cold drops of rain makes visitors shiver as they run for cover. Within seconds people are drenched through!
Tucson Monsoon Season
The Tucson climate means that if you visit Tucson during most times of the year and you will be treated to cloudless blue skies stretching endlessly where ever you look.
Visit Tucson during July and you are likely to see nature's fireworks at their best with some spectacular thunderstorms together with torrential rain! These thunderstorms are known as monsoons. They arrive in July most years, and the people of Tucson look forward to them (along with the Saquaro cactus and other flora).
The rain storms are proceeded by dust storms. You can see the leading edge of the dust storm swirling up the dirt to the right of this picture below.
If you have visited Tucson in drier parts of the year you probably won't be able to recognise it from the picture (above right) taken about 2pm in the afternoon. The worst of the rain is over, but the washes are still flooding over the roads. It is still raining, and continues to do so for another couple of hours.
Arizona has a 'stupid motorists law' making drivers responsible for the costs and damage caused if they drive into flooded areas.
The advice is, don't drive when the rain is heavy and the roads likely to be flooded. Keep indoors, and enjoy the lightning displays in safety!
The picture on the right was taken during a thunderstorm at sunset. You can see the sun setting beneath the cloud, and lightning flashes lighting up the clouds themselves to provide a spectacular display!
Alhough Tucson is most visited during the spring, autumn and winter months when the temparatures are at their most pleasant, a visit in July can be recommended if you like to see nature at its best! The Saquaro cactii absorb as much water as possible during the rainy season, their trunks quickly thickening up once the monsoon starts.
During the monsoon the Tucson climate means temparature can drop from in the 100s down to the 60s, but this can make a pleasent change from the heat.
A monsoon approaches Arizona Desert Museum
Thunderstorm at Sunset
A dark, dismal, flooded Tucson in the early afternoon
Dust storm approaches
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