Downpour in the Desert

In Phoenix, for at least the last 30 years, any chance of rain under 75% has meant almost no chance of rain. Sometimes the rain comes, and the drizzle with sizzle and dissipate the moment it hits the group. On other rare days, like today, the heaven open up and drown the desert in life-giving energy.

This morning, I woke up to the sound of sheeting rain, rushing winds, groaning thunder in the distance, and booming bolt up above. After a lifetime in the desert, these are my favorite sounds–the sounds of sustenance.

Last year, Phoenix saw no rain. Well, we had one day in which there was a 3-minute drizzle-and-sizzle, but I don’t think that counts. According to the National Weather Service, the average value for rainfall across the Valley during the rainy Monsoon season was 0.46 inches, more than two inches short of average.Weather forecasters went as far as to call it the Nonsoon.

The year of extremes dried centuries old pines to their cores, creating an army of eerie skeletons across valley parks. Saguaro cacti dried up, revealing their spindly wooden before toppling over onto roofs, cars, and roadways. As a lifelong resident of the valley who has dreaming of leaving this desolate place for just as long, I was devastated. I was worried it might be a permanent phenomenon, as many storms would approach the sprawling metropolis and then falls apart as they reached the outer edge of our concrete jungle.

This morning, I was proven wrong. And I am overjoyed. After a two-year absence, the monsoon has returned and the plants, animals, and long-time locals couldn’t be happier.

7 thoughts on “Downpour in the Desert

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  1. I didn’t like the weather when I lived in the Phoenix area, but I did love the monsoons. They were oddly calming.

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  2. I grew up in a very arid region- not quite as desert as Phoenix. So I have a hearty gratitude for all types of precipitation. I’m glad you got a little relief!

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  3. This is so interesting… I guess I never took the time to imagine what it would be like to live in another climate bc I obviously only know what it’s like to live in Canada… We have all four seasons here but most Canadians will tell you it’s more like 2 lol winter and summer lol… These past weeks we had a lot of rain which was a good reprieve from the heat! But man, I bet you can fry an egg down there on Phoenix so kudos to you guys for not melting in your summers! 🙂

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    1. That’s too funny! I Arizona, our two seasons are Summer and Not Summer (the 4 months of livable temperature lol). In the summer, people bake cookies on the dashboard of their cars… it’s done as a joke, but it actually works lol/

      Liked by 1 person

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