Thursday, July 19, 2012

Haboobs, Monsoons, and New Pools

As many of you can guess, Phoenix, Arizona is hot in the summer. Temperatures will hover around 110 degrees, and even the shade provides little relief. Summer is a time to stay inside or find a place in the shade. Just yesterday I saw a woman park 30 feet further from the entrance of Wal-Mart just to get under a tree.

The summer months also mark the start of the monsoon season. The monsoon storms can be massive, dumping tons of rain in a relatively short time. The ground in Phoenix does not absorb this deluge very fast, so you can find yourself with a spiffy new, shallow pool in your back yard. It's not uncommon to find at least one depression called a wash in a subdivision.

Just this past week, one of these large storms struck Phoenix. In fact, the red (most severe) part of the radar images swept right over Gilbert. It was amazing watching the rain come off the roof. We ended up with a three-inch-deep flood in the back yard. Of course, the ground did eventually absorb all of this water over a few hours. A few trees, one probably 30 feet high, got torn down.

Haboobs are exciting and scary at the same time. These massive dust storms ride in from the desert and cake everything in a thin layer of brown. The sky becomes this strange orange-brown color, and the wind becomes horrendous.

It's also apparently why the Chase Field dome roof is a brownish color. It was originally painted white, but a large haboob on July 5 of last year rolled in before the paint could dry. Thus, a brown roof.

Images from:
AZ Department of Transportation
Virtual Bird's Eye

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