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Jul 08, 2019


Monsoon season arrives in the southwestern United States in the late summer. As the land heats up, it causes humid air from the Pacific Ocean to move inland and north through Mexico, Arizona and into Nevada. The moist air eventually becomes unstable and forms thunderstorms. Monsoon Season typically lasts from late June to mid-September.


Thunderstorms produced through monsoonal moisture can be fast and powerful. They can trigger flash floods that can be damaging and deadly. Monsoonal storms often produce numerous lightning strikes that cannot only be fatal, but can also spark wildfires in dry areas, especially if the storms produce dry lightning (lightning without rain). Dust storms and downbursts are also common during monsoon season. Dust storms result from strong winds during thunderstorms. They can greatly reduce visibility and cause respiratory problems. Downbursts are concentrated downdrafts of rain and wind that can cause damage equivalent to an EF-0 or EF-1 tornado.


There are several steps you can take to protect yourself, your family and your property before and during a monsoon storm. Keep a well-stocked emergency kit in your home and in your vehicle. Monsoon storms may cause power outages, so having water, food and supplies is vitally important.

Monitor weather updates and heed weather-related warnings. Weather updates can be found on TV, radio, online or via mobile apps such as the Nevada Emergency Preparedness App or the Flood Spot app. If storms are brewing in your area, stay indoors. If you are outside, seek shelter immediately.

NEVER DRIVE THROUGH FLOODED AREAS OR WANDER INTO FLOOD CHANNELS OR BASINS. Six inches of running water can knock down an average adult. Eighteen inches of running water can carry a vehicle.

For more monsoon safety tips, visit Monsoonsafety.org.

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