New to the Valley? Here's what you can expect from monsoon storms

So you moved to the Valley expecting it to just be hot.

They told you it was a dry heat, didn't they? Well, they didn't give you the entire story. Because, monsoon.

Don't get us wrong, it's still hot. But with the heat and those wonderful summer months comes monsoon storms -- which is a whole different weather issue. Yeah, literally, I know.

We love Phoenix and the weather is -- 98 percent of the time (*not an exact math) -- beautiful. But there are just a few things to watch out for.

Thought we moved to Phoenix, not the Sahar

When the winds start gusting, the dust'll start blowing. It's a desert after all.

You've probably heard them referred to as "haboobs" or HUGE walls of dust. Although most don't technically grow to that "haboob caliber" they can still be dangerous.

Dust can limit visibly on the roadways to a dangerous degree, and that's not to mention all the stuff you breathe in if you're outside in one.

Try to stay indoors during dust storms and if you find yourself driving, pull over safely turn off your lights and take your foot on the brake. Wait the storm out before attempting to drive again. 

Turn around, don't drown!

It's been a big problem in the past. Washes fill with water, rivers overflowing, freeways filling up with water -- it's a real damper (pun intended) for commutes and residents.

Oftentimes they can turn dangerous, especially in areas damaged by fire. Burn scars can increase that severity.

Watch for flash flood warnings and always remember: Turn around, don't drown!

OK, what about that famous 'dry heat'?

A few clouds, some rain here and there. If you've lived here long enough, you know that's stereotypical Phoenix rain. Sporadic is a good way to put it. But with monsoon storms, the Valley can be susceptible to some heavy downpours.

Despite the rain -- or more often than not, the lack thereof -- it's still hot. Mix some humidity in there and Phoenix can no longer brag about that lovely dry heat.

Yikes!

The crawlers are creepin'

Monsoon season brings out some interesting creatures. If you have insectophobia, you may want to stay inside after a big downpour because the palo verde beetle or desert millipede would love to meet you.

And keep your pets away from those toads. The Sonoran Desert toad, aka Colorado River toad, reportedly kills more dogs a year in the Valley than rattlesnakes.

READ: Everything you didn't want to know about those creepy monsoon-season beetles

A (potential) deadly dazzler

Lightning can be spectacular to watch especially if you are (safely) able to capture a photo of it. But it can also be dangerous.

When it comes to storm-related killers, lightning is second. In fact, one to two Arizonans die each year from being struck by lightning and more than a dozen are injured.

The best place to be during a thunderstorm is indoors or inside a sturdy shelter.

There's so much to Arizona monsoon and there's nothing like spending a stormy summer in the Grand Canyon State. As long as you stay safe, these storms can be one-of-a-kind. 

Did we forget something? Let us know what you'd tell a Valley newbie about monsoon storms on our Facebook or Twitter.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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