Yes, it Rains in Arizona’s Desert

July and August are monsoon season in Arizona. And I’m so sorry I laughed at the concept when I first heard it. At about 11 in the morning, you can start to hear distant thunder. It moves closer as the afternoon progresses, and then rain drops from the sky as if a swimming pool had been emptied.

Here’s the parking lot at the Changing Hands bookstore and Trader Joe’s in Tempe right after it stopped raining  on last Sunday.

Monsoon parking lot

Monsoon parking lot

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. See her work at (c) 2008 All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “Yes, it Rains in Arizona’s Desert

  1. There is no monsoon in the Sahara desert but there zillions of little seashells everywhere in the sanddunes.
    Once, hundreds of millions of years ago the Sahara desert was all sea.
    I wonder how Arizona was so very long ago.

    —–> Millions of years ago, this area of Arizona, from Phoenix to Tucson, the part that is now desert, was a big, warm sea. It dried out to create the desert. Our desert isn’t sand, it’s granite rocks. Arizona has many mountains, including those circling Phoenix, and those were once volcanoes. Only about 40 percent of Arizona is desert, the rest is grasslands, mountains, the Grand Canyon and the amazing Mugollon ridge–a stretch of land that pushed up thousands of years ago, rising 2,000 feet higher than the plains below. It causes interesting weather.

  2. I love it when mother nature shows us her very different sides.
    What you describe here must be a delight to experience. It is all pretty extreme overthere, a bit like: have it all or nothing at all.

    —>You are right–we have big weather switches, or at least bigger than I am used to. Big heat, big rain, big sky. Not a bad mix, at all! -Q

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