Monsoon madness: What’s this watery summer weather?

Photo by Flickr user John Fowler

It’s easy to forget about types of weather that occur outside of our own backyards, especially during the summer months of sunshine. The wonders of our planet and its most essential resource never seize to amaze us, though, and that’s why we’re so fascinated by a summer weather phenomenon called monsoons.  

A monsoon, according to National Geographic, is a seasonal change in the winds of the area that alter the climate of the region. This phenomenon is common in areas close to the Indian Ocean, like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladeshand Myanmar, but it also occurs in the southwestern United States. Clearly, our eight Aqua states don’t typically see this type of weather, so we’re extra curious about it! 

A monsoon in New Mexico

There are two kinds of monsoons: dry and wet. A wet monsoon causes heavy rain in a region, while a dry monsoon does the opposite. This video from NASA does a great job of explaining how and why monsoons form. 

 

Monsoons mostly affect North America in the middle of summer, from July to September. In fact, states like New Mexico and Arizona get half of their annual rainfall during monsoon season. Fun fact: The wettest monsoon recorded in U.S. history was in 1984, with 9.56 inches of fallen rain. These records include numbers traced back to 1896. 

Usually, monsoons are beneficial to the areas they affect. Because these storms often occur after long periods of drought, the moisture they bring is replenishing and fruitful to the plants in the ecosystem. The high levels of rain can also aid firefighters battling wildfires in extremely dry areas.

Not all effects of monsoons are simple and benign, though. Since the affected land has often been bone-dry for so long, it can only soak up so much water at once. The rest of the water sits on top of the parched land, causing flash floods even from small amounts of rain. On top of flooding, monsoons can also bring lightning storms and massive dust storms called haboobs that can pose additional safety concerns for the affected communities, especially for people caught off guard while driving.

People who live in parts of the U.S. where monsoons occur are usually aware of necessary precautions. But for tourists, business travelers, or even new neighbors in the southwest, it’s important to know how to prep for monsoon season. In fact, paying attention to weather forecasts and having an emergency supply kit on hand are good summer weather tips for people living in any part of the country, especially during Hurricane Season.

What other types of watery weather pique your interest? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter

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Stop and Smell the Flowers: It’s World Environment Day

If you’re anything like those of us on the Aqua team, Earth’s beauty blows you away every single day of the week.

Today, though, we have a good reason to take our celebration of our planet to another level: It’s World Environment Day.

First observed in 1972, World Environment Day both acknowledges the complex beauty of our home planet and brings awareness to the many factors that endanger the precious ecosystems and habitats that surround us.  

The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is Connecting People to Nature, which was chosen by Canada, this year’s host country.

985 events are on the #WorldEnvironmentDay map!
Tell us how you'll connect #WithNature & let's get to 1,000: https://t.co/gTGjbXCfwS pic.twitter.com/WRAJ05gWki

— UN Environment (@UNEP) May 31, 2017

Take a moment to think about how you connect to nature on a daily basis. In a single day, you might mow the lawn, listen to birds sing and snap a photo of a beautiful bundle of flowers to post online. Take it one step further, though, and think about what concrete actions could be done to preserve that grass, those birds or those flowers.

At Aqua, we’re determined to protect and provide water—Earth’s most precious resource—in an environmentally responsible, sustainable way. In addition to our daily operations providing water to our customers, we’re lucky that our employees are individually enthusiastic about being positive stewards of the environment.

In Pennsylvania, members of Aqua’s leadership team such as Chief Environmental Officer Chris Crockett, Director of Environment Compliance Deborah Watkins and Watershed Specialist Robert Kahley came together last October to plant native trees at the Perkiomen Creek Watershed, which is adjacent to Aqua’s Green Lane reservoir.

The group of volunteers planted more than 620 trees in one day that now consistently release fresh oxygen into the air, ultimately working toward a cleaner, healthier ecosystem across the neighboring community and the world.

Likewise, Aqua employees know the importance of all aspects of our environment—not just water. Our own Kevin M. Culver wrote an ode to bugs (yes, bugs!) in and around the Kankakee River in Illinois.

Why, Kevin asked our blog readers, should they care about bugs? Here’s his answer:

I care about the bugs because one can determine the health of a stream by the number and type of bugs living in the stream. Not only can the bugs be used to determine water quality, but fish and fresh water mussels can also be used as biological indicators of water quality.

There you have it: A healthy bug is a sign of healthy water. Who wouldn’t care about that?

Clearly, the environment is a crucial matter to Aqua employees, both personally and professionally, and we couldn’t be prouder of their efforts.

We encourage you to get involved during World Environment Day! Take the time to go outside, smell the fresh air and think about how lucky we are to be inhabitants of our beautiful planet. You can also take part in celebrating the day by sharing photos of the Earth’s beauty with the hashtag #WithNature on your favorite social media channels.

 

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