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The purpose of this web page is to promote awareness of life-threatening and damaging weather hazards affecting Arizona and its residents during the North American Monsoon. Our "monsoon season" officially extends from June 15th through September 30th, the time during which associated hazards are most likely to occur.
The National Weather Service in Phoenix would like to extend a special "Thank You" to the Arizona Diamondbacks for recording several Public Service Announcements about Monsoon hazards.
Today's Topic: Thunderstorm Winds and Dust Storms
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One of the most frequent signs that the monsoon is in full swing is the formation of strong thunderstorms. These storms can form any time of the day or night and anywhere in the Southwest U.S. But are most commonly found developing over elevated terrain during the afternoon.
If conditions are right, these storms can send strong outflow boundaries down through the lower terrain. These vigorous winds can be strong enough to drag dust up into the atmosphere. The outflow boundaries can yield winds as high as 50 mph or more. On an active day several of these boundaries can interact with each other, producing more rapid thunderstorm development.
Dust storms in the desert are dangerous and often lead to highway injuries and fatalities. If you are driving and encounter a dust storm try to move off of the highway as far away as possible from traffic. Pull out of the traffic lanes, turn your lights off and do not leave your foot on the brake pedal.
Stay informed of weather forecasts and warnings. Monitor highway information signs for indications of dust storms. NOAA Weather Radio is also a good way to get immediate notification of dust storm warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact:
Warning Coordination Meteorologist
POB 52025 Pab 225
Phoenix, Az 85072
Be sure to visit Weather.gov/Phoenix to access official forecasts and warnings for south central and southwest Arizona.