Monsoons can bring haboobs, violent dust storms during the summer months like this August 2018 storm north of Kingman.

KINGMAN — The truth is locals love monsoons and as much as they appreciate a cooler summer, they’re worried if the refreshment season will come to Northern Arizona at all this year.

“Yeah, it’s a pretty slow start for you guys,” confirmed Max Vido, a meteorologist from AccuWeather. “But Western Arizona is always last to see the progression of the monsoon, so it is not that you are much behind the schedule. You will see some activity later in August.”

But it is mid-July, and the monsoons have not started yet. The next couple of weeks look as if they’ll be pretty dry, too. If there are thunderstorms, they are expected to be infrequent and isolated.

As for August, it will all depend on the position of the sinking air, which currently is blocking moisture from the Pacific and California.

“We should get something,” said Chelsea Kryston, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service in Las Vegas. “I can’t say with much confidence that Mohave County will get much activity, but you should see something in August.”

The monsoon season is important for Western Arizona, often being the only sources of yearly water supply. During a monsoon, thunderstorms are fueled by daytime heating and build up during the late afternoon-early evening. Typically, these storms dissipate by late night, and the next day starts out fair with the cycle repeating daily.

Of course, less monsoon activity means safer hiking, Vido pointed out. One of the unpleasant seasonal surprises waiting for hikers, especially those who are unfamiliar with the area, is how quickly dry paths can change into rivers of mud.

But short, rapid rains and capricious thunderstorms, which are “just teasing” half of the time and disappear into thin air, are daily summer delights Arizonans look forward to during this time of year.


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