Grand Canyon’s summer rains, also known as the “monsoon season”, are forecast to begin this week, courtesy of the westward drifting remnants of Hurricane Emily. This seasonal deluge is created by moist air rotating upward from the Gulf of California.
A typical day from now until early September consists of clear skies in the morning that give way to towering thunder clouds in the afternoon. Isolated thundershowers break out in the late afternoon and early evening, complete with spectacular lightning and torrential downpours.
Savvy locals know to avoid narrow canyons and other low lying areas this time of year for fear of flash floods. If you find yourself in such a spot, know the warnings that a flash flood may be imminent. These may include otherwise clear streams turning brown, the smell of fresh earth, a rush of cool air, or a low growling noise similar to an advancing train.
Any of these could herald a rushing wall of water and debris. So, please stay “high and dry” and enjoy the seasonal drama from a safe vantage.