|Less than 2 minutes|
How fast can a dust storm affect visibility? This video shows how quickly a monsoon thunderstorm can hit. (YumaSun.com file video - Jul. 18, 2009)
|Downed Power Lines|
The National Weather Service says a microburst downed these power lines on County 14th Street between Avenue 1E and 2E on May 8, 2012.
A strange wind storm blows through Northeast of Yuma on May 9, 2012. Ken Waters with the National Weather Service in Phoenix later said, "That's a classic signature we see after a microburst."(Yuma Sun file video)
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Monsoon Awareness Week: Dust Storms and Downburst Winds
The National Weather Service, in partnership with the state of Arizona and the Emergency Management community, has designated June 10th through 15th "Monsoon Awareness Week." Its purpose is to promote awareness of life-threatening and damaging weather hazards affecting Arizona and its residents during the North American Monsoon. Our "Monsoon Season" officially extends from June 15th through September 30th, the time during which associated hazards are most likely to occur.
This week YumaSun.com will feature information from the National Weather Service in Phoenix on the various severe weather threats that come with the monsoon season and how to be safe in threatening weather conditions.
One of the most frequent signs that the monsoon is in full swing is the formation of strong thunderstorms. These storms can form any time of the day or night and anywhere in the Southwest U.S. but are most commonly found developing over elevated terrain during the afternoon.
If conditions are right, these storms can send strong outflow boundaries down through the lower terrain. These vigorous winds can be strong enough to drag dust up into the atmosphere. These outflow boundaries can yield winds as high as 50 mph or more. On an active day several of these boundaries can interact with each other, producing more rapid thunderstorm development.
Dust storms in the desert are dangerous and often lead to highway injuries and fatalities. If you are driving and encounter a dust storm try to move off of the highway as far away as possible from traffic. Pull out of the traffic lanes, turn your lights off and do not leave your foot on the brake pedal.
Stay informed of weather forecasts and warnings. Monitor highway information signs for indications of dust storms. NOAA Weather Radio is also a good way to get immediate notification of dust storm warnings issued by the National Weather Service.