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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Hurricane Season: Stay Prepared and Stay Safe

Sometimes, water service can be affected by hurricane conditions. Aqua wants to help you ensure you're prepared.

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Have No Fear, Aqua Is Here - Hurricane Preparedness

Did someone say hurricane?Have no fear, Aqua is here. From June 1 to Nov. 30, you can expect to see the most storm activity. Don’t worry, there are many simple precautions you and your family can take to help withstand a hurricane this season. You have questions, we have the answers.

 

Will my water service be affected?

There is a chance that your water service may be temporarily interrupted. To help prepare for this possibility, we recommend saving water in advance. Empty pitchers, pots and even your bathtub (recommended that you boil before use) are excellent containers for storing your reserve water.

 

My water is back on. Is it safe to drink?

Whether or not what you experienced was a true hurricane, the storm may have caused some complications. If this is the case we will issue a Precautionary Boil Water Advisory. Aqua will notify you through phone, text message or email. We may also reach you through:

 

1.     Door hangers

2.     Signs

3.     Radio broadcasts

4.     Newspapers

5.     Television broadcasts

 

I received a Precautionary Boil Water Advisory. What do I do now?

To ensure your water is clean enough to drink, cook or brush your teeth with, Aqua suggests boiling before use. For guaranteed purification follow these steps:

 

1.     Bring water to a rolling boil

2.     Boil for 1-2 minutes

3.     Let it cool down

 

Now that the storm has passed and your water has been restored, Aqua will notify you when your water is OK to drink without boiling. If you have any additional questions or concerns our customer service representatives are available to take your calls – 877-987-2782.

You can also visit us at AquaAmerica.com to sign up for WaterSmart alerts on your phone and other devices.

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