The monsoon finally came to Phoenix in a big way this week! The National Weather Service referred to the storm as a one in a hundred years event for central Phoenix, with 2 inches of rain falling in just one hour and posted this dramatic time lapse:
The South Mountain @ArizonaDEQ gives us an amazing view of the storms that rocked Central #Phoenix. #azwx pic.twitter.com/7dJIITkT9d
— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) August 3, 2016
Arizona Department of Transportation also posted several warnings and photos of the flooding on the I-17:
Photos from I-17 and Indian School, where floodwater has closed the highway in both directions. #phxtraffic #azwx pic.twitter.com/HwxfWhjiOd
— Arizona DOT (@ArizonaDOT) August 3, 2016
Also, Arizona Central has a slideshow of pictures and video that captures the severity of the storm and the resulting property damage and disruption to our roadways.
The forecast for the coming week includes more rain and brings the risk of more accidents. In fact, the Department of Transportation reports 22% of all accidents are weather related. Defensive driving is key to protecting yourself from the elements and other drivers. Some variables to consider are:
Pavement condition: wet weather increases your braking distance, especially immediately after the rain begins to fall and oil spilled in the street slowly spreads and washes away. Increasing your following distance and decreasing speed can help prevent rear end collisions.
Visibility: blowing dust and heavy rain reduce your field of vision, especially if your windshield wipers are dry and cracked from the summer. Combined with wet pavement, the risk of chain reaction accidents here is high. Avoid the mess by increasing your following distance and decreasing speed.
The Department of Transportation provides a complete list of risks for inclement weather if you care to learn more.
Despite the risks, I plan on enjoying a week of lower temperatures and some rain. I hope you also have a safe and enjoyable time!