Arizona Monsoon Thunderstorms

Woo, Hoo! Finally got a decent monsoon thunderstorm. Lightning was a little closer than I like, but my rain guage measured .52 inch in about 20 minutes. Water is running curb-to-curb.

Unfortunately, the pws I am using appears to be offline and has not updated since August 3rd. (Good thing I checked.) This is the biggest problem I’m having–finding a reliable station near me. I’ve researched them and many are Netatmo and are not reporting precipitation.

The station at the airport is over 7 miles from me and with the highly convective nature of our monsoons, it doesn’t help much.

Yeah I’ve had the same issues with weather stations here in the valley. Wednesday night I noticed one of my schedules was running and when I looked at the weather data, the station I had marked was not reporting precipitation. Luckily there is a PWS near me that looks to be accurate but it’s a pain that there aren’t more choices out there.

I use Deer Valley airport which is 3 miles away, so I know I get reliable numbesr from them and I think my climate is pretty similiar. There is one PWS in my neighborhood and I see it on weather underground, but I need to research more how to utilize it and to make sure it’s reliable

You’re fortunate to have one so close. I tried using the local city airport which very reliable, but the problem is distance and geography. I’m fairly close to the base of the McDowells and that affects the weather patterns quite a bit.

I’m lucky to have found a pretty good PWS 1.44 miles from my house. He’s even got a time lapse camera on it that you can see what’s going on…it isn’t registering anything from today, but we got pounded at my office near Sky Harbor this morning.

I’m sorry to hear about the pains of inaccurate weather stations or even ones that decide to go on a vacation and stop reporting.

Weather can be a tricky beast to tame. However, we are working diligently on our end to improve weather reporting. Feedback like this is perfect because it allows us to start a dialogue with weather reporting services about increasing accuracy and expansion.

Thank you, everyone!

@sunny I’m 12 miles from Sky Harbor and use it due to the accuracy, and so far the rain reports there relative to my home have been reasonable. The 1st couple of nearby PWSs that I looked at didn’t seem accurate at all, but I need to give it another look. I think I’m in better shape down here relative to where you are by the McDowells, probably thanks to those high mountains that you have, or I’ve just been lucky this season.

I looked into putting in my own PWS, but when I look at the recommendations for placement I don’t think I’d be able to install it right. Either it needs to be fairly far from any building, or it needs to be something like 13 ft above it. If I did that I’m sure I’d have the HOA sending me a letter or two.

We have about a 10k sq. ft. property, which is actually somewhat on the larger side for the nearby neighborhoods. It makes me wonder about how ideal the PWSs I see around me are. Up by you I’m sure you have nicer sided properties so maybe you can find a good one.

@azdavidr, I’m having the same problems as you. I’d like to put my own PWS in, but I have too many woods. Maybe I could put it on the corner of my roof, but I’m not wild about climbing a 16 ft ladder to get to it, and that’s not the best place either. I’ve looked at a satellite map of the location of the one I use, and I wonder how well placed it is!

I have a neighbor about a block away that’s got one in a great location, but it doesn’t show up in Rachio. Sigh. …

1 Like

I sent a message to the owner of the PWS near me through weather underground asking him/her how long they’ve had theirs and their thoughts on the reliablity of their data… we’ll see if they respond

This is the recommendation that seems to be common. The roofline of my home is at least 20ft. The resulting 80ft away from my house lands in a neighbor’s yard, where they also have a 20ft tall home or more.

Too many HOAs and tough restrictions in nearby neighborhoods. As far as I can tell, most PWS close by are Netatmo with no precipitation reporting.

A year or so ago, the Hubs surprised me with an Acurite he ran across at Costco. It’s mostly hidden from the street, but I’m not sure how accurate it is. We didn’t want the neighbors to complain. At least the rain guage works! :smiley:

@sunny Is I guess your Acurite isn’t able to be registered as a PWS that your Rachio can see? I have a lot to learn about PWSs and would love to have one. I looked at Netatmo as they appear “easy”, but I’d like the unit to be fairly accurate too, and of course I’d like to tie it into my Rachio. I was looking into the Ambient Weather WS-1400-IS too, but then I ran into the installation issue I mentioned.

This is the one just down the street from me. So far no answer from them from my message. What are some tips for checking accuracy of a PWS

So where is the mass hysteria flooding that was suppose to happen overnight? Gilbert Public Schools was sending out mass emails warning about cancellation of schools due to the potential for flooding. :laughing:

I see things went from 90% chance of rain today to less than 20%, and tomorrow showing a max of 35% chance…

1 Like

@tmcgahey When you mentioned school closing and flooding it reminded me of a crazy story. My daughter’s 8th grade friends texted her and told her that school was canceled one morning because the plumbing was stolen. We both thought it was a poor attempt to play a prank on her. We laughed it off and took her to school, only to find the school was closed due to them not having a water supply and some partial flooding. It turned out that indeed, some copper piping that was part of the main water supply coming from the city was stolen creating the problem. Police & city services were involved, lots of families affected, etc. The police said there was probably something like $80 of value in what had been taken.

1 Like

Believe it or not, but I actually got some rain this morning… but yes, i get tired of the news acting like we’ve never experienced rain or dust storms before.

1 Like

What’s even more odd, they haven’t lifted the flash flood warning that was issued yesterday that runs until 11:00pm tonight. Very weird.

I think it’s hilarious when they send a reporter out to stand in ankle-deep water. It’s as if the media has to create some “news” to talk about. Tornado? Hurricanes? That’s weather news, not our summer monsoon thunderstorms. When I first moved to Arizona, the dust storms and winds rolled in almost every afternoon. Now, not so consistently.

I did see where the dust cloud made the national news from yesterday and I did receive notification of rain skips, but don’t think the actual precipitation materialized.

1 Like

My wife and I almost hate-watch ABC15 and mock them when they do things like say to “stay off the roads” as they feel the need to report from their van as they drive the 10 during a dust storm… that’s the latest hot thing for them to do, is to drive while report on the weather, as if standing there before wasn’t good enough

1 Like

I’m an AZ native (though only 33) and I about fell off my seat a few years ago when the news started reporting these “haboobs”. They reported them like they had always been called that! No…they were dust storms, and I agree with sunny. When I was a kid, it was like clockwork that the dust would blow in mid/late afternoon and almost always followed by a short rain. Now, we get a few dust storms, and most of the time they aren’t followed up by anything…