Preparing for Arizona's Monsoon Season

Monsoon Desert

Parts of the desert Southwest experience seasonal “monsoon” activities during the summer from approximately June 15 through September 30.

We encourage residents to establish a four-step plan for monsoon season:

  1. Write and rehearse a family communication plan that identifies a meeting place and includes out-of-town contacts.
  2. Build an emergency supplies kit to last your family, including pets, for at least 72 hours. Include prescriptions, important documents and a radio.
  3. Know your community and where you travel. Get current weather forecasts on TV, on the radio or online.
  4. Be an example for others in your community. Check for potential hazards like overhanging trees and loose debris, donate blood and do a fire drill at home.

Our weather can vary dramatically from region to region. When traveling throughout Arizona pay attention to the weather conditions forecast for the areas you are traveling through the state and for your destination.



If a storm is in the forecast and you must drive, check and replace your windshield wipers. When driving, turn on your lights, increase the distance between you and other vehicles and reduce your speed. Don’t brake suddenly.



Dust storms (also called haboobs) are unpredictable. If you are caught in a dust storm pull your vehicle off the roadway, put your vehicle in park, turn off your vehicle’s lights, and take your foot off the brake. Remain inside your vehicle with your seatbelt fastened and wait for the storm to pass. If traffic lights are out, intersections should be treated as a 4-way stop. (Automobiles leave the stop sign or traffic light in the same order in which they arrived at the stop; when automobiles arrive at the same time the car furthest to the right can go first.)



Thunderstorms frequently produce strong downward rushes of air, called microbursts. Note that no place outside is safe from lighting during a thunderstorm. If you hear thunder, lighting is close enough to strike you. Move inside a strong building or inside a hardtop vehicle. Stay in the shelter for 30 minutes after you hear the last the last thunder.



Heavy monsoon rains can lead to flash flooding. Don’t underestimate the power of water. Six inches of fast moving water can knock down an adult, and 18 inches of water can carry most vehicles away. Avoid low water crossings and areas that are already flooded. Never drive around barricades or attempt to cross streets with flowing water.


For more safety information for #Monsoon2020 visit:

(*Note this video was recorded and posted on June 12, 2018)