Monsoon Chasers

If you are reading this, I suspect that you are familiar with the concept of storm chasing. Whether you find it controversial or not, I bet you have heard of it. You may even be familiar with colleagues that “chase” landfalling hurricanes. Here is the curve ball. What about Monsoon Chasing? Have you heard of that? People do that to, but first let me discuss the monsoon.

The Arizona Experience Website describes “monsoon” rather well:

“Though the word monsoon is often used to refer to a single thunderstorm, it is actually the name of the large scale weather pattern. The word derives from the word mausin, Arabic for “season” or “wind shift.” It is now used to refer to a seasonal wind shift and the precipitation produced as a result. Parts of Africa, Asia, North America, Australia, and Europe experience a monsoon season…….A monsoon is caused by warm air creating surface low pressure zones that in turn draw moist air from the oceans.”

The North American monsoon season is from mid-June to late September. The storms typically are most prevalent during July and August and can provide roughly 50% or more of the annual rainfall in some parts of the Southwest. The mountainous regions are typically the rainfall “winners” and can even intervene with moisture flow to modify rainfall processes themselves.

The combination of the desert landscape and monsoon-induced thunderstorms known for producing towering walls of dust, vivid lightning displays and crashing downdrafts can produce awe inspiring imagery that would make even the most skilled artist envious. This week on Weather Geeks, weather photographers Bryan Snider and Mike Oblinski join me to discuss the ins and outs of capturing the power of the North American Monsoon. Snider is a Weather Photographer, and Oblinski is both a professional photographer and award-winning filmmaker. You can consider them “Monsoon Chasers.”

Join us for an all-new episode of Weather Geeks this weekend. The show always airs Noon ET (11 am CT, 10 am MT, 9 am PT) on The Weather Channel.

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2 Comments


  1. I live in New York and on July 7,2017 we had heavy Rains and Windy Conditions Some thunder in the morning no lighting.would that be considered A Monsoon or New York don’t have that type of weather

  2. I believe we had a Monsoon Season just recently, this week. There was a windy rainstorm hard and heavy. Booming thunder that scared my family here at home. Lightening that was crackling outside the windows or around our area. All I can say is “Wow” and disappeared quickly as it came.