Arizona is fairly lucky when it comes to natural disasters. The Midwest huddles in a basement to avert tornados, the Gulf Coast sandbags against hurricanes, and the West Coast frets over earthquakes. Except for wildfires, Arizona is fairly low on the weather crisis scale.

Be prepared for crazy weather in Arizona

While weather-related problems occur less often than in other states, we still have some weather patterns to be aware of. High winds and sudden flooding related to monsoonal patterns can cause damage, but have you ever been the victim of a microburst?

READ MORE: El Niño, Climate Change, & Crazy Weather! Is the AZ Monsoon Here?

What is a Microburst?

Localized weather patterns are the norm in Arizona, especially during monsoon season. Locals often talk about how our neighbors can experience a torrential downpour, while your property won't get so much as a drop of rain.

Be prepared for crazy weather in Arizona

The same weather concept applies to a microburst. I'd never heard of a microburst until July 2022, when our family experienced one. It affected our property and neighbors to the east and west of us, but no one beyond a two-mile area.

This dramatic event knocked out our power, downed part of our barn, and damaged buildings in my neighborhood, wasn't even a blip on the radar of the rest of the county.

READ MORE: Are You Ready? Vehicle Safety for Arizona Weather

A microburst is a powerful, localized downdraft that happens during thunderstorms. It produces high, concentrated winds that can reach speeds up to 150 mph. Microbursts are especially dangerous in Arizona. The dry climate can even lead to dry microbursts and cause damage that resembles a small tornado.

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Be prepared for crazy weather in Arizona
Trim trees and secure projectiles like plants and patio furniture. // Canva

Microburst Versus Tornado

In the Midwest, meteorologists and storm trackers can see tornado patterns forming and warn citizens to take shelter ahead of a storm. In Arizona, microbursts can be particularly dangerous because they occur suddenly and with little warning.

Extremely high winds from microbursts have been known to uproot trees, create dangerous flying debris, and damage buildings. They've been known to cause dust storms that suddenly reduce visibility and make driving hazardous.

Be prepared for crazy weather in Arizona
Inspect your roof ahead of time to make sure it's sound in high winds. // Canva

How to Prepare for a Microburst in Arizona

Microbursts can happen suddenly and without warning, so it's important to prepare your home and property to keep everyone safe.

  • Secure outdoor objects that could become projectiles, like patio furniture and potted plants.
  • Trim trees and shrubs to prevent branches from breaking off and causing damage.
  • Make sure your roof and house siding are in good condition so they don't get damaged in high winds.
  • Reinforce doors and windows with storm shutters or impact-resistant glass for extra protection.

Taking steps ahead of these sudden storms can help protect your home and family from dangerous microbursts in Arizona.

[ Sources: National Weather ServiceArizona Republic | KGUN 9 | AZ Central | Glass Home Inspections ]

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