These past several days, we have had some pretty intense monsoon storms in the Phoenix Valley area, which caused us to say good-bye to a very large and old tree from our yard. Below is a photo (from when I was in Flagstaff) that illustrates what these storms can look like from a distance.
For those unfamiliar with this monsoon-weather phenomena, during the latter half of the summer most of Arizona receives several to many rain- and sandstorms that make up a large part of our annual rainfall. These storms can be very intense. The sandstorms (also called haboobs) can reduce visibility to just a few feet and be dangerous to be outside in, especially while driving.
The rainstorms can turn into fierce thunderstorms, which cause flash floods and sometimes even wind damage. Two years ago when I was in Flagstaff, one such storm turned into very intense rain- and hailstorm that occurred caused a lot of tree damage and major flooding.
Well this year, we had been experiencing a fairly boring monsoon season in the valley until these past few days, where we had a major thunderstorm every night. Last night’s was the worst by far. I saw the storm approaching from a distance and it reminded me of some of the doomsday storms in movies. There were lightning flashes every second, and it looked like a massive wall of rain and wind heading towards me. As I got home, the sky was almost completely black and the wind picked up. During the peak of the storm, wind speeds hit 60+ mph and caused major damage throughout Tempe and Phoenix. Over 50,000 people were without power from this storm. For us, we not only lost power, but lost one of our two beloved MASSIVE pine trees in our yard. The tree fell over around 8:00 PM and missed our house by a mere few feet. At the same time, the tree missed my car by a foot AT MOST! We were lucky last night, and I definitely feel like I should buy a lottery ticket or something. The tree is a huge loss though. It completely blocked the street and created a ton of debris in our yard. Apparently the tree had been in the neighborhood since the 1950s, so it was huge and old. Below are some photos Meghan took this morning of the damage (see her Facebook for more photos). I hope that everyone who reads this never has to deal with such a loss or worse!