MONSOONS

MONSOONS

The Morongo Basin has been treated to performances of Mother Nature’s grand spectacles in recent days – thunder, lightning, sudden torrents. Ranger Pat Pilcher gives us a larger view of summer monsoons…
Summer sun and rising humidity makes us really feel the heat. At Joshua Tree National park, we watch the sky for clouds and wonder about monsoon rains. The word “monsoon” refers to a wind system that often bring moisture. Summer thunderstorms are typically vigorous with sheets of water washing across the land. Never predictable, summer storms elicit a quick response from Mother Nature. A carpet of golden cinch weed commonly follows after summer storms and barrel cactus grow plump. Desert tarantulas appear during summer rains as well as elusive desert tortoises. The excitement of summer rain reminds us that water is precious. Storm runoff is a critical resource for desert life, and recharges underground aquifers for humans. Benefits of a summer storm come with dangers, too. When the rains come, be sure to heed warnings for flash floods as you pause to smell the wet earth and watch the desert turn green.

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