Monsoon 2018 - The storm outlook

Posted: 12:14 PM, Jun 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-08 17:27:20Z
Monsoon 2018 - The storm outlook

Monsoon 2018 officially kicks off on June 15th, 2018 and end September 30th, 2018.  The National Weather Service set those dates as the "season".





If you've lived in Southern Arizona for at least one season, you know the Monsoon can be fierce in some areas and calm in others.  You'll see a spectrum of wild weather.

  • Torrential Downpours
  • Street Flooding
  • Running Washes
  • Dust Storms
  • Lightning

Everybody wants to know how will our Monsoon perform?

Well, the outlook is in and it calls for warmer than average temperatures in July, August and September. But it also calls for wetter than normal conditions. In fact, there is a whopping 40% chance that Northern Arizona will pickup above average rainfall.  

For the Tucson area we normally receive just over six inches worth of rain.  So with that in mind, we are expecting more than usual.



If you don't know what to expect, expect widespread flooding and neighborhood streets to become submerged when a storm hits.

Craig Smith, Reporter



We can easily go from a calm day to completely chaotic.  Nine On Your Side's Craig Smith will breakdown neighborhoods prone to flooding.



Remember TDOT (Tucson Department of Transportation) says, "It only takes about six inches of water to cause a small car to lose traction."

TDOT crews deliver barricades to hundreds of street crossings.  Once the flood-prone area floods, the crews come back to put up the barricades to keep motorists out of the area.  

There are 150 dip crossings in town.



TDOT reminds everyone that all low-lying area in the City of Tucson are subject to flooding during the summer thunderstorm season.

Jennifer Martinez, Reporter


Our summer is long here and many head to the mountains to cool off, but be aware, flash floods often take hikers and campers by surprise.



We see it every year, that huge wall of dust that comes sweeping across the valley, often destroying many things in its path.



Dust Storms are one of the deadliest events during Monsoon, killing nearly five people in Arizona annually.  From the rooftops being ripped off, trees uprooted and multi-vehicle pile-ups on I-10. Dust Storms are often unexpected and unpredictable.

They occur when thunderstorms produce strong busts of air, called Microbursts, that spread out along the ground creating dense blowing dust. I-10 travel between Tucson, Phoenix and Cochise County area just a few areas most susceptible to dust storm.

Visibility is often reduced to near zero in a matter of seconds. Knowing what to do when you're faced with a dust storm is key to staying safe.  

  • Slow Down
  • Pull Off To The Side of The Road
  • Turn Off Your Headlights
  • Put Your Vehicle in Park
  • Stay In Your Vehicle with Your Seatbelt
  • Wait For the Storm To Pass

Pull Aside. Stay Alive.


Max Darrow, Reporter


We see everything during the Monsoon, including wildfires, some caused by lightning. The dry vegetation burns quickly and causes a lot of damage.  Nine On Your Side's Max Darrow has the stories of those who live in the rural areas.



To keep track of wildfires you can check out Incident Information System, also known as  InciWeb .



Lightning is something we see very often in Southern Arizona, especially during Monsoon and it's nothing you want to mess around with.  The temperature of lightning is 50,000 degrees. It's 10 times hotter than the face of the sun and something that a lot of folks don't realize, you would think lightning is something pretty big in size, it's actually not. The bolt that comes and makes contact with the ground, you can hold our thumb up, the size of your thumb and that little thing packs a punch.



When we are talking about electricity combined with 30,000 amps, keep in mind your average homes are around 120 volts. Definitely when lightning is around you don't want to mess around with it.  If you can, get inside.  You know the old saying when you hear the thunder it's time to move inside. Pretty good advice.



Ivan Rodriguez, Reporter


An hour south of Tucson, Mother Nature has taken it's toll on the Nogales Wash during Monsoon. The wash stretches from Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to Nogales, Arizona. Ivan Rodriguez traveled across the border to see if the 2017 repairs will hold up against the force of the Monsoon this year.



Turn Around. Don't Drown. The consistent life-saving message for motorists during the Monsoon. Washes overrrun, roads become rivers and every year some try to cross. This is what can happen when the Santa Cruz River is running at full speed.



Carlos Herrera, Reporter


Carlos Herrra has a message from the brave men and women who train all year around to rescue those caught in desperate situation. Special thanks Tucson Fire Department.



Whitney Clark, Reporter


For Tucson Fire, Monsoon proves to be one of their busiest seasons year after year.  Nine On Your Side shows you what it's like to be rescued from the perspective of someone needing to be rescued.



Kevin Boughton, Reporter


Monsoon in Southern Arizona has also come mean power outages. The strong winds knock down power poles like matchsticks. Nine On Your Side's Kevin Boughton has more from Tucson Electric Power and how they are working to keep you lights on during the storms.



Stay safe during Monsoon and be sure to stay with KGUN 9 On Your Side,  KGUN9.com  and all our social pages to stay updated. Like us on  Facebook , follow us on  Twitter  and  Instagram  and download our mobile app. You can share your Monsoon pictures and videos at share@kgun9.com