Friday, August 16, 2013

Old-fashioned Monsoon Rain!

Everyone who grew up in Tucson knows that the best time of the year is the monsoon, from roughly the 4th of July to mid-September. Yes, it is hot, most days in the high nineties to 105 or so. But this is also the time of the blessed, lifegiving summer rains, which appear when the prevailing winds shift from westerly to southeasterly.

Hibiscus in the Rain
Monsoon rains are usually heavy, abrupt, often violent, and so welcome. A good monsoonal thunderstorm can drop the temperature by 20-30 degrees in just a few minutes. The air fills with the delicious aroma of Desert In The Rain, which is actually produced by the creosote bush, which releases volatile oils when it becomes wet. The sky sends forth sheets of rain, bolts of lightning, and rumbling thunder. Ah, monsoon. Something to look forward to every year.

My back yard in the rain

Most years, that is. Not this year. This has been a bad monsoon year. My neighborhood had received literally NO storms the entire summer. The most rain we got at one time was a tenth of an inch, in a puny storm that snuck in overnight. Much of the rest of Arizona has been repeatedly drenched. But not us.

Big Mesquite in the Rain
Till late yesterday afternoon. I heard thunder and saw a very small storm in the mountains to the northeast. "It won't rain here," I predicted. But it did. Hard. For over two hours. When it was all over, I had just shy of one inch of rain. I could hear my trees and other plants applauding.

Here's a link to a video of yesterday's storm. Please watch, and especially listen. This is why I and so many other people are lifelong Tucsonans.


  1. By the time it got to me it was just a pitterpat. The gutters didn't even flow. Lucky you. Too bad we don't have smell-a-vision.

    1. Yes, I was wishing I could somehow attach the scent....

  2. Beautiful audio. If I could turn it into a tape-loop, I'd use it to lull me to sleep at night.

    1. I might be able to do that, but it would have to be an MP3. Do you have a player?