Most Arizona residents will tell you that monsoons are one of the most unpredictable parts of the summer months in Arizona. These storms are often characterized by thunderstorms, heavy rain, lightning, hail, high winds, flash flooding, dust storms, and extreme heat. Monsoon season, which lasts from June through September, is when these weather events are most prevalent. Even if you’re well accustomed to Arizona’s rainy season, there are still some key water safety tips to keep in mind to make sure you and your family stay safe this season.
Water, Lightning, and Thunder Don’t Mix
Whether you’re swimming in an outdoor pool, amusement park or lake, you don’t want to mess with a rainstorm. If you hear thunder or see lightning immediately exit the water and get to a safe place indoors, or to another safe covered space, like your car. It’s a good rule of thumb to wait 30 minutes after you see the last lightning strike and hear the last roll of thunder before resuming any water activities.
The reason water and storms don’t mix is that water conducts electricity, so if lightning strikes the body of water where you are, it can severely injure or even kill you. Also, avoid showering or being near any other standing water during these storms to be as safe as possible.
Extra Water Means Extra Drowning Risks
You may not have a pool in your backyard, but that doesn’t mean your yard is free from drowning hazards. If you have small children remember that kids can drown in as little as two inches of water. During the monsoons, Arizona typically gets several more inches of rain than it does throughout the rest of the year. Check your yard for buckets, ice chests, or anything else that might fill with water and become a drowning risk. Also, make sure to supervise your children outdoors, especially during monsoon season.
If a storm kicks up and you’re outside, whether you’re in water or not, it’s a good idea to get inside and to a safe place away from windows right away. Most of these storms won’t last more than an hour and you’ll stay the safest you can by waiting it out. Arizona monsoons are a beautiful sight, and it’s best enjoyed from a safe distance. Make sure to watch out for thunder and lightning, flash flooding, and dust storms during these summer months. Contact us if you’d like more safety tips, or to learn about our swimming programs.