The monsoon season in the southwestern United States could bring relief to parts of the region that are in desperate need of any kind of precipitation, but flash floods and lightning strikes potentially fatal are also part of the deal. Like many in the West, Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas are fighting a one year drought . Monsoon usually starts in these places in June and ends in September.
Last year, however, the monsoon did not bring much rain. But this year has already seen a dramatic difference: a 200% increase in precipitation over the past two months in parts of the southwest.
"Too much anything is always a bad thing, "said Dave Lawrence, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service who covers the western United States.
With severe thunderstorms expected throughout the weekend, flash flood watches were released on Thursday, until Saturday, for central and eastern Arizona, as well as western New Mexico and southwestern Colorado - where last week a torrent of water swept in on some parts of the Grand Canyon , a camper died.
"We are more concerned with areas that have been burnt by Wildfires this year, "said Mark O 'Malley, meteorologist for the National Weather Service's Phoenix branch. " These areas will be particularly susceptible to flash floods due to heavy rainfall. "
But despite the risks, meteorologists have said that the rainy season in the Southwest still presents un welcome return to normality, especially since the West is fighting an extremely dry summer.
"The season monsoons seem more normal, "said Mr. Lawrence. "If there is such a thing as normal weather - it is not.