MONSOON 2021: Storms crucial to sustaining life in desert

Another dry season could be disastrous to farmers and motorists alike
Published: Jun. 14, 2021 at 4:48 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 8:00 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Monsoon storms can be disruptive, destructive and dangerous.

But the water that powers our flash flooding helps sustain the desert.

We are in the middle of a decades-long drought, one of the worst on record.

When it comes to keeping our communities from drying up and blowing away, the more rain the better.

Look up in the sky during Monsoon and you will see clouds building up all day long. Then around 4 p.m., it will get orange, the dust drops and a thunderstorm would roll in.

There was a time when you could set your watch by it. From July to August, every afternoon at 4 p.m. the Monsoon rains would come.

But these days, it is often only wishful thinking.

For Pinal County farmers like Nancy Caywood, the water sources are drying up or have dried up, so they have to depend on Monsoon rain.

“In my heart., I just believe that maybe this summer we’re going to get rain,” Caywood said. “We’re going to seen rain, which will put a little water in our dam and maybe the weather cycle will change.”

But there’s no consensus. After suffering through the worst monsoon ever in 2020, what 2021 will look like is a coin toss.

Taking in all the models, crunching all the numbers, one wonders what’s the best scenario?

There is an equal chance it could be as bad as last year. There is a chance that we will see fewer storms, but the ones that do popup will be more intense.

That means the parched farmland between Tucson and Phoenix is at serious risk.

It is not just the rain that could be more intense. The winds may be stronger, more destructive too.

With the lack of moisture, there will be more dust to stir up.

That means any little breeze could turn into a dust storm anywhere in southern Arizona.

Those storms are particularly dangerous for motorists traveling from the Old Pueblo to Phoenix.

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