PHOTOS: Arizona monsoon storm floods social media
Friday, July 22, 2016, 2:21 - It’s that time of year again. A summer monsoon slammed Phoenix and Tuscon, Arizona, with reports of a dust storm, high winds and heavy rain on Monday.
Poor driving conditions caused by the dust storm were blamed for multiple crashes that closed Interstate 10 near Pacaho Peak, according to azfamily.com.
Gusts up to 50 miles-an-hour slammed the Phoenix area particularly hard, knocking down trees and cutting power to more than 6000 households at the height of the storm, according to azcentral.com. By 3:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, that number was down to less than 150.
Officials at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport issued a 30-minute ground stop for all departures at 6:30 p.m. because of strong winds.
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Now, monsoon-season storms are expected to fire up in the desert southwest next week, as a stream of moisture flowing into the desert generates short-lived pulse thunderstorms, says Weather Network meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal.
"The storms are typically high-based, so a lot of the rain evaporates out of them before they do any significant work," Whittal explains.
Monsoon season has been active the past week and the trend is set to continue, with Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and much of the High Plains to see monsoonal rains.
Farther west, there's a higher monsoonal thunderstorm potential that could trigger dry lightning.
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The monsoon season runs from June 15 to September 30, but the storms peak between mid-July and mid-August. A large scale shift in wind patterns brings mighty storms and about half the year’s rainfall -- so flash flooding is always a real danger.
Arizona receives a statewide average of only 12.5 inches of rain per year. July's average rainfall is 1.05 inches, according to the NWS.
In addition to roadways, the fast and furious storm was also flooding social media feeds:
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