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Arizona monsoon thunderstorms can range from minor to extreme storms. They usually start with heavy winds accompanied by heavy rain. In some areas, you may notice dust storms forming accompanied by frequent thunder, lightning and rain.
Sometimes during monsoon season, a more severe dust storm forms. These types of storms are much more serious than the typical whirlwind of dust. How do severe dust storms form? They occur when thunderstorms push pressured air forward dragging along dust and debris as it travels across places like Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Texas. This type of dust storm can last for up to three hours and usually arrives suddenly.
As you might imagine, monsoon season produces pretty extreme weather. You might experience heavy rain, flash flooding, dust storms, severe winds, hail, and lightning. The best thing to do during severe weather is to stay indoors or in your car if you happen to be driving. Being mindful of storm safety is helpful during this time of year. Below are a few tips to keep in mind during Arizona’s monsoon season:
How to Prepare for Severe Thunderstorms
Did you know that thunderstorms can occur singly, in “clusters”, or in“lines”? Usually, warm climate along with high humidity creates the perfect conditions for thunderstorms. About 10% of thunderstorms are considered severe, including those that produce tornadoes and hail. Check out
Lightning Safety When You Are Outside
Seek shelter in a low lying area or look for a covered structure.
Be alert for flash floods when you are in an open area.
If you are in open water, get to land and find a covered shelter immediately.
Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground if you think lightning is about to strike.
In Case of Emergencies
Although lightning strikes are rare, it’s important to know the safety protocol. If lightning strikes someone you know, call 9-1-1 for medical assistance immediately. Then check the following when you attempt to give aid to a victim of lightning:
Breathing—if the victim has stopped breathing, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Heartbeat—if the victim’s heart has stopped, administer CPR.
Pulse—if the victim has a pulse and is breathing, look for other possible injuries.
Safety After the Storm Passes
Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don’t drown!
Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
Avoid downed power lines and if you see them, report them immediately to the local electric company.
Stay tuned to the local news and radio stations to keep up with the latest weather report.
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