Monsoon moisture touched off severe weather over the past couple of days. We all think of flooding with monsoons. Now, check out the fire, mudslides and dust storms that also accompany the seasonal phenomenon.
High pressure that setup over Texas pumped tropical moisture into the four corner states. Much of the region is under severe to exceptional drought and needed the rain. Bus, too much came too fast for some areas.
A couple of thunderstorms over the past few days proved too much for this hillside near Granby, Colorado. The trees still show the battle scars of the 193,000 acre fire that destroyed a fifth of the county in 2020.
A combination of high winds, drought, low humidity and downed and damaged trees after a beetle infestation quickly spread the East Troublesome Fire. It forced 35,000 people to evacuate 7,000 buildings, burned 366 homes and 214 outbuildings and killed an elderly couple.
Mud, rock and timber blocks highway 125 and the Colorado Department of Transportation has no estimated date of reopening it.
A bright side to the monsoons, this waterfall. The rain amped-up Fourmile Falls near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Melt from much lower than average snowfall in the Rockies has hardly been keeping the falls at full force.
Some stations across the Greater Phoenix area reported almost an inch of rain from thunderstorms on Sunday alone. The city usually sees only 0.06" of rain for the entire month of June. Only the month of August generally sees over an inch of rain.
Residents took refuge as the rare June rain soaked the Valley of the Sun.
Heavy rain was not the only monsoon travel trouble for Phoenix. The Arizona Department of Transportation posted these photos of blowing dust north of Phoenix. They pleaded with drivers to postpone travel as visibility dropped to near zero.
Sun heated air rises quickly in an updraft and the monsoon moisture condenses into heavier rain drops. The rain drops and cold air form a downdraft which rushes to the desert floor, picks up dust and drops visibility.
One storm chaser captured this time-lapse of the cold, damp downdrafts near Komatke, Arizona. Watch the rain eventually hit the ground after preceding drops evaporated in the dry air.
This is what happens when rain never makes it to the ground but the lightning does. Monsoons can also touch off fire. Dry lightning, where the rain evaporates before hitting the ground, set off this 300 acre fire burning near Mesa, Arizona on Monday.
Monsoonal flash flooding turned this Buckeye, Arizona road into a log flume ride. Hopefully, the photographer was not the driver too.
The National Weather Service issued Flood Watches expire late Monday. The threat for monsoon thunderstorms decreases over the next couple of days but still exists.
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