A monsoon swept through parts of Arizona on Tuesday night, drenching Phoenix and unleashing winds that downed power lines and flipped airplanes on their side.
The intense rainfall came three days after Phoenix hit a new heat record, with the temperature reaching 110F on Saturday – reaching that mark for 54 days this year.
Tuesday’s monsoon did not bring large quantities of rain – as of 8am Wednesday, Horseshoe Lake had recorded 2.32 inches in the last 24 hours, while a site in Mesa recorded 2.13 inches – but it fell in a short space of time, drenching Arizonans.
Videos shared on social media showed downed power lines, falling trees and people sheltering from the storm.
At the peak of the outages, more than 32,000 electric customers were without power on Tuesday night.
A palm tree is seen toppling over in Phoenix on Tuesday evening
Wild storms buffeted Arizona on Tuesday night, with strong winds
A plane is pictured flipped on its roof at Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona
A helicopter company facility was damaged in Mesa, Arizona, on Tuesday
At Falcon Field airstrip in Mesa, more than an inch of rain fell, but aircraft were seen flipped over and buildings were ripped apart after the storm passed.
One person shared a video on social media of a palm tree being uprooted and falling onto parked cars.
No one was injured during the storm, but flash flooding warnings were in place overnight.
Some roads near Roosevelt Lake remained closed on Wednesday morning.
The heavy rains came as Americans living on the East Coast were anxiously watching the path of Hurricane Lee.
As of 5pm on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center was predicting the storm would reach northern Maine by mid-afternoon on Saturday, before turning east and heading towards Canada‘s Maritimes – the three eastern-most provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
The rains in Arizona came after a summer of scorching heat in the Southwest.
Worldwide, last month was the hottest August ever recorded, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
Scientists blame human-caused climate change with an extra push from natural El Nino, which is a temporary warming of parts of the Pacific Ocean that changes weather around the globe.
As of Saturday, Phoenix has tallied 104 days this year with temperatures over 100 F, said Matt Salerno, a National Weather Service meteorologist.
That’s in line with the average of 111 triple-digit days every year between 1991 and 2020.
Dozens of people cool off in the waters of Oak Creek in Sedona, Arizona, at Slide Rock State Park
The sun silhouettes the air traffic control tower at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on September 6
Maricopa County, home to Phoenix and the most populous county in Arizona, also appears headed toward an annual record for heat-associated deaths.
County public health officials have confirmed 194 heat-associated deaths this year as of September 2. An additional 351 cases are under investigation.
There were 425 heat-related deaths last year.
‘Our Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Jeff Johnston, does think heat deaths will surpass 2022. At this point, we do not know by how many. It will be months before Public Health researches all the heat death cases and provides a total,’ Jessie Caraveo, spokesperson for the Maricopa County Medical Examiners’ Office, told the Arizona Republic in mid-August.
More than a third of the deaths have been in people between the ages of 50 to 64, according to the report. Roughly three in four deaths have occurred in people outdoors.
Firefighter EMT personnel assist a man who collapsed during a 27 days long heat wave with temperatures over 110 degrees Fahrenheit
Earth has sweltered through its hottest Northern Hemisphere summer ever measured, with a record-warm August capping a season of brutal and deadly temperatures, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
August was about 2.7 degrees warmer than pre-industrial averages.
That is the threshold that the world is trying not to pass, though scientists are more concerned about rises in temperatures over decades, not merely a blip over a month’s time.
The world’s oceans — more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface — were the hottest ever recorded, at nearly 69.8 degrees, and have set high temperature marks for three consecutive months, the WMO and Copernicus said.
‘The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting,’ said Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General.
‘Climate breakdown has begun.’
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12515591/arizona-monsoon-rain-extreme-weather.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Arizona is hit by huge MONSOON which saw Phoenix battered by torrential rain, and whipped by wind that uprooted trees and destroyed planes – days after breaking 110F heatwave record