MONSOON! ~ What is it? ~ How Does It Affect You, Sedona and Arizona

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage NRDS # 146013739



An Arizona Summer Phenomenon

Monsoon - Sedona Top Realtors - Sheri Sperry Remax SedonaBell Rock Sedona - Thunderhead Increasing


Information on Monsoon - Sedona, AZ - First of all, there is no need to add season at the end of Monsoon because Monsoon is a season. Monsoon affects the west and southwest states because the pattern of the weather changes as noted below.

How Long Is The Monsoon In Arizona?

Monsoon officially starts on June 15th and ends on September 30th. However most of the rain comes from the middle of July through the middle of August.  This is one of the reasons that the Temps in Sedona are a less harsh during July and August.  The average rainfall in the state of Arizona is around 12.5 inches.  The Sedona area gets more than the average rainfall. We have had as much as 26 inches (2016) and as low as 13.66 inches (2014). See the actual precipitation chart on

What Creates Monsoon Conditions?

Weather enthusiasts and forecasters look to the dew point to tell if monsoon conditions exist. The dew point must be about 55º for thunderheads to start development. The dew point indicates how much moisture is in the air. At this point, the air cannot hold water in gas form and the gas will then turn to liquid form creating water droplets. The water droplets create fog or precipitation. Prior to officially declaring a calendar season for monsoon, the season would be declared when there were three days at a dew point of 55º.

2016 - Record Rain Totals

In 2016, the monsoon had 9.65 inches of rain recorded on my station. When you couple that with over 7 inches of rain and 7.5 inches of snow, we had a year end total of 25.92 inches of precipitation.

So Far In 2018...

We started 2018 with 3.73 inches of rainfall in the first two months, but our rainfall is only 4.84 through May.  Since 2010, our backyard weather station has recorded an average of 5.8 inches of rain in July and August combined, so we are looking forward to monsoon.

Preparation For Monsoon

One quick note - Because it is our rainy season and the chance of lightning during a thunderstorm could knock out power, take some time to have things ready to go:

  • Know where the flashlights and candles are for easy access.
  • Keep your cell phone charged
  • Clean out gutters - drains - culverts - rain ditches and any other natural path water may take during a sudden downpour.

What Is Monsoon?

It seems that Southern Arizona, the White Mountains and the Phoenix metropolitan area known as "The Valley" get the brunt of the monsoon affects. It is amazing to see the haboob (desert wind storms)monsoon - Sedona real estate kick up and tower thousands of feet in the air moving through the valley. Those storms are the pre-cursor to the rain and massive storm cells that develop from the moisture in the warm air coming off the Gulf of Mexico. Generally, massive amounts of rain falling create downdrafts that push the air out from the center of the storm which produces a dry wind that kicks up the dust and dirt.

Seasonal Weather Patterns monsoon Arizona Sedona real estate

During summer, weather patterns change.  Storms that travel from the arctic  (Alaska) down through Canada and the lower 48, create our winter storm pattern. In the summer, the pattern shifts to the south. Hurricanes, storms and moisture travel northwest from the Gulf of Mexico through Mexico, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona moving all the way to California. We also get moisture coming from the Gulf of California traveling directly north. Lots of moisture and an occasional hurricane come up from the coast of Baja California and push northeast into Arizona.

Northern Arizona

Up in Northern Arizona, we get a lot of cloud cover and the storms move through but usually don't drop a lot of rain here in Sedona.Though in Flagstaff it is quite a different story! The area of Sedona seems to be protected. By that I mean that most of the rain falls elsewhere before it gets to our little city. But when we do get rain and storm cells, it is a big deal around here. In 2014, Sedona got 7.73 inches of rain from July thru September. In 2013, there was 8.18 inches of rain in the same time frame. Flash flooding can happen because many of the streets are sloped leading up to the red rocks. There has been much improvement made in our drainage system to be able to handle the additional water flow but during an intense storm there is no place for the water to go and mud and rocks can travel across roads to find the path of least resistance. Do not travel through a road where water is more than 4 inches deep.  A car can be swept away easily.

Southern & Central Arizona

In Southern and Central Arizona - 2014 will be remembered as the "Monsoon of the Century". All future monsoon activity will be measured in terms of 2014. There were 3 major hurricanes that effected the weather in the southern half of the state. This caused a deluge and many towns and neighborhoods suffered tremendous flooding damage due to flash floods, hurricane wind, broken canals, and water that had no where to go. Many long-time residents had never seen a deluge like we had that year. Sky Harbor Airport had record rainfall of 1.59 inches and has exceeded the all-time record set back in 1903.

Discover more about Sedona Weather 

Some of the most incredible pictures are taken during Monsoon

Monsoon Thunderstorm - Sedona nomes for sale

Thunderheads Surround Sedona

89A - West Sedona AZ - looking south

Monsoon at sunset - homes for sale Big Park AZ VOC - Village of oak Creek

Massive Thunderstorm at Sunset creates Fire In the Sky

monsoon - West Sedona homes for sale


North View - Century Plant in Bloom


Cathedral Rock at Monsoon Sunset


Looking Toward the Mogollon Rim

Buy Sedona homes

Rare Monsoon Sunset Rainbow

It was taken just a couple of minutes before the sky went on fire!


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Roy Kelley 06/25/2018 02:00 AM
Local News and Events
CLOUDS AT ACTIVERAIN (clouds attached)
This Desert Life - Phoenix AZ photos, events and lifestyle!
wet season

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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Sheri,
What an interesting post on Monsoons and weather in Sedona and Arizona in general.  Those photos are amazing!  Is there ever a season when Sedona isn't amazing?  I think I know the answer to that.  LOL

Jun 20, 2018 11:12 AM #28
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

I had no idea it rained that much out there!  ha.

Thanks for the info and photos!

Jun 20, 2018 01:16 PM #29
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

What beautiful pictures Sheri Sperry - MCNE® . I was seeing on the weather temps out your way well over 100. That is very rare if ever once a year but last year we didnt have any. Our rainy time is early spring and summer gets warm and dryer. We have a mini drought now with only 3 inches of rain this month, the grass is getting brown. The lakes and rivers are all full though

Jun 20, 2018 02:41 PM #30
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Stunning and eerie - I LOVE the photos - and the video. This is such a perfect local post - I like it when agents really become the local expert by discussing everything about their markets, not just houses and market stats. You do such a wonderful job, Sheri. D

Jun 20, 2018 03:06 PM #31
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

What gorgeous photos and a great education. I never knew there was a monsoon season in Sedona. 

Jun 20, 2018 03:38 PM #32
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Wonderful photos and it shows the beauty of severe storms. 

Jun 20, 2018 06:41 PM #33
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Sheri

Those are pretty stunning photos! I remember the first time I heard about the monsoons in AZ...and of course it conjures up visions of the monsoons in other parts of the world. I have yet to experience one, or a haboob, either. There was a great video a few years back and it was just amazing. We were in a smallish sand storm driving through NM on our move from Boston to Carlsbad years ago, but it was nothing compared to what I've seen online withwhat you get in AZ!


Jun 20, 2018 08:41 PM #34
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Beautiful photos and video. It's amazing how different the temperature, precipitation and storms are in various parts of the country.

Jun 21, 2018 04:05 AM #35
Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc.
Dennis J. Zisa & Associates, Inc. - Camden, NJ
28 years in So. Jersey and the Greater Camden area

Very interesting information, and the photographs are absolutely breathtaking! Thank you for posting.

Jun 21, 2018 07:09 AM #36
Greg Mona
Faira Homes Corp - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate in the 21st Century!

Wonderful and informative post, Sheri Sperry - MCNE®  As a fellow AZ resident who will be experiencing the Monsoon season for the 25th summer here in our great state, this was one of the best explanations of the summer rainy season I have read. There is so much inaccurate to completely false information out there in this regard, so I'm glad you've summed it up so nicely for all of us. Your photos are absolutely stunning as well! 

Jun 21, 2018 07:52 AM #37
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Well, I have certainly learned something new today.

Having lived in India for 3 years, I know and have experienced the monsoon.

I would never have put Arizona and monsoon in the same sentence.

Thanks for a very informative Localism post.

Jun 21, 2018 02:58 PM #38
Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Sheri, how spectacular! Who knew??  I'm not much of a weather girl (it seems to come up in conversation as something non-personal and "safe" and I wanna get down to what's REAL!), but this just rocked me! 

Your brilliant colored photos were just glorious! And I am a huge fan of rainbows. Living on the east coast, it took me til high school to see my first one. I STILL remember it!! 

As many as I see (and photograph) here in the PNW, I never EVER tire of them. It's like butterflies, they always signify joy and happiness from Mom Nature's perspective. 

Jun 21, 2018 06:36 PM #39
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Hi Sheri - great article on my favorite season - monsoon season.  We live between 3 mountains so clouds build up fast here and we at times get slammed with a LOT of rain plus thunder and lightening.  It's always fun to sit out on the front porch while a storm is going on!  We stay out there as long as the lightening isn't too close. One time we had a party going on and everyone was in the pool.  You should have seen how fast everyone ran for the came on so fast it was scary. 

Jun 22, 2018 12:23 PM #40
Erik Lilyquist
Allied First Bank, SB - Scottsdale, AZ
Mortgage Specialist, including the Reverse

I love this post!!!!  outside of the winter temps here in the valley, Monsoon is my favorite time of year!!!  I find your pictures amazing and love that you are sharing the AZ "season" with others, Thanks, 

Jun 22, 2018 01:03 PM #41
Dora Griffin
D A Griffin Financial.LLC - Fort Thomas, KY
NMLS 6380

Beautiful pictures! I've been to AZ once in my other (work) life. Looking forward to the trip I arrived, had forgotten my driver's license so the car rental did not work out. After much ado I arrived at my hotel, wet, exhausted. The next morning I headed out to the first meeting and when I opened the door the water flooded over my high heels. It was like that a couple of days until I cut my losses and booked a flight back home. 

Jun 22, 2018 01:46 PM #42
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great photography and monsoon information.  Unfortunatly we're way behind in Phoenix, less than an inch this entire year, and our total is much lower than yours annually.  We're sodry that the lakes aren't looking so great. I visited Bartlett Lake a while back and was astonished at how low it is.  

Jun 22, 2018 09:06 PM #43
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Congratulations on your feature recognition. This is great information to share with families considering a move to the area.

Jun 24, 2018 05:37 AM #44
Joe Daniels, Broker, Appraiser, Realtor(R),
Personal Service Realty - Jacksonville, FL

I used to live on the west side of Chino Valley, just west of you in the cheap seats. I always liked sitting out on the front porch and watching the storms move across the valley. In winter it was interesting to watch the snow move across.

Jun 24, 2018 10:59 PM #45
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Wow, great pictures to share with us Sheri here in the rain.  I wish we would get more rain sometimes in the mountains but no lightening.


Jun 26, 2018 09:20 AM #47
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Sheri,

Old VB must have been asleep at the wheel when you posted this, or busy in AK?

Anyway love your cloud photos, sunsets/rises, colors and your post has been featured to the group:

CLOUDS AT ACTIVERAIN (clouds attached)

Bgpic04272016194604 l
Jul 08, 2018 08:30 AM #48
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Sheri Sperry - MCNE®

(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®
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