It's monsoon season here in the great state of Arizona! Between early July to late August, massive cumulonimbus clouds build up daily and threaten to unleash a fury of wind and rain over the dry, hot desert. Here in Scottsdale, we don't feel the full effect of the monsoons, but around the state, some places get a nice soaking almost daily.
A few years ago I took a drive out through the beautiful White Mountains in eastern Arizona. True to form, the monsoon began building up from the east and an afternoon deluge looked promising. Slowly but surely, the temperature began to cool and the winds began to pick up as the dark face of an angry storm took shape. Before the event unfolded, I stopped the car and was able to capture the fury in motion.
Suddenly, I began to feel lonely as the storm enveloped me. As I stood on the highway, I realized there wasn't a soul around - it was just me and the storm. To continue driving seemed almost foolish, but the prospect of greeting the storm head on was just too good to pass up. As I continued, a few spots of rain would begin tapping on the windscreen as a little warning, and then, it happened.
What may look like snow is indeed hail. Although the White Mountains see a lot of snow in the winter, the summer monsoons produce scenes reminiscent of late autumn/early winter. Witnessing this storm was amazing! Mother Nature put on a show worthy of a sell-out crowd, yet I felt like I was its only spectator. As I continued my drive, I felt privileged to have had such an intimate experience with an Arizona monsoon.