Monsoon is not a word that means storm. It comes from the Arabic word mausim, which means season or wind shift. We are in a season called monsoon. If we have a severe thunderstorm, it may be called a monsoon thunderstorm, not a monsoon. Monsoon means season. A drenching rainstorm that causes flooding during this season is not a monsoon, but could be called a monsoon rainstorm.
Steve Eastwood in his article entitled Monsoon in Phoenix, said this:
In Arizona, as in other regions of the world including India and Thailand, we experience a monsoon, a season of high temperatures, high winds, and high moisture, resulting in potentially deadly weather.
I also learned from this same article that meteorologists don’t use the plural of the word monsoon. Dictionaries may say that monsoons is the plural for it, but in its proper usage, monsoon means season. We have one season each year, which is called monsoon.
Aside from this side issue about the meaning of the word, Steve Eastwood’s article contains much interesting information concerning the weather during monsoon.
I also read another article on the same website, this one authored by Judy Hedding, entitled Arizona Monsoon. She presented many interesting facts about monsoon in Arizona, also. For instance, beginning in the year 2008, the National Weather Service established the beginning of monsoon as June 15 and the end as September 30. Before 2008 the beginning date of monsoon was decided by a dew point formula. Three consecutive days of a dew point averaging 55 degrees or higher would have been declared the first day.
Hedding began her article with this paragraph:
During the monsoon, or summer thunderstorm season, Arizona experiences more severe weather than many other states. On rare occasion, a severe storm may spawn a tornado. More often, high winds, dust and severe downpours resulting in flash floods are common monsoon occurrences.
Judy Hedding also shared many statistical facts about monsoon in Arizona that I found interesting as well.
I remember the dew point formula, and thought it was easier to remember when they changed it to a specific date range.
Yes, I can see how confusing it would be to be working that formula all the time. Much better to have a clearly-stated season. Blessings…