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Monsoons Are Coming: ADOT Says, 'Pull Aside, Stay Alive'
Friday is the official start date for Arizona's fifth season: monsoons.
Meteorologists often cringe when the words monsoon and season are paired together, because it technically is redundant. Monsoon is the Arabic translation for the word season.
The word haboob, which locals recently began adopting, is also Arabic for blowing furiously.
The National Weather Service is predicting winds with rain and dust will begin blowing furiously through Arizona this week. Before they do, Charlie Misra with the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs says smart drivers should put together an emergency travel kit.
"It should have enough food, drinking water and necessary supplies for at least a 72-hour period," he said, adding that necessary medications should be top of the list.
The agency's website has a complete list of items to include in the kit along with other useful information.
The Arizona Department of Transportation is also reminding drivers stay safe.
ADOT will run 30-second public service announcements throughout June urging drivers to "pull aside, stay alive" and turn off headlights and tail lights to avoid being rear-ended when a storm is moving through.
Monsoons are fast moving storms that often bring unexpected downpours and thick dust, which can quickly reduce visibility to only a few feet.
The season officially ends Sept. 30, but generally peters out by late August.