Tropical Storms Causing Cooler Arizona Weather

Arizona is well known for its hot summers. Temperatures often exceed 100 degrees with some highs going into the 120s. However, it is a running joke among people from the region that it is a dry heat and therefore doesn’t affect the body the same way lower temperatures with higher humidity does. However, this is not currently the case as there are tropical storms causing cooler Arizona weather.

The region is currently in what is known as the monsoon season. This means that it rains almost every afternoon with some truly spectacular lightning storms developing. This also leads to flash flooding in many areas that can be hazardous to travelers. But, it is important to note that this is not exactly an average monsoon season.

Tropical storms like Javier, which formed in the Pacific and dissipated by the time it reached Baja California, are pumping inordinate amounts of moisture up from the south into the desert regions of the southwest United States. This moisture is adding to the rains of the monsoon season. It is also having another effect on the weather in the region.

The moisture in the atmosphere absorbs a great deal of heat as it maintains its vapor form. This has the result of creating cooler temperatures in the region. However, it may not feel much cooler due to the added humidity. This is one reason it remains important to maintain one’s air conditioning system in proper order.

Air conditioners do more than just cool the air. They also remove excess humidity. In a region that is known for low humidity, this can be a critical function because many of the materials used in construction in this area rely on low humidity to keep them from decaying. A lack of climate control in a home can lead to mold and rot that would not normally be an issue if the air did not contain such a high amount of water vapor.

While the monsoon season is normally marked by higher humidity and heavy rains, the number of tropical storms is higher than average on both sides of the nation. While some are not extremely powerful, all pull moisture from the oceans and carry inland. This has led to a marked increase in humidity in the southwest.

Unlike in normal summers, the heat in the region is not a dry heat. While the temperatures are somewhat cooler than normal, the humidity makes it feel hotter than normal. This can lead to heat-related problems such as dehydration, cramps, and in extreme cases, heat stroke. For this reason, it is important to take proper precautions to avoid such issues.

The best thing one can do is to stay indoors in a well air-conditioned structure through the hottest part of the day. If one must be outside, wear loose clothing that is breathable and will wick moisture away from the skin so that the body can control its temperature through perspiration. Remain well hydrated and consume beverages that contain electrolytes in order to avoid the harmful effects of the heat.

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