Monsoon 2012: The dustiest ever?

PHOENIX - After three summers of below normal rainfall, the monsoon made a comeback in a big way!

Sky Harbor Airport picked up three inches of rain, putting us just over a quarter of an inch above normal.

Our Valley average was 2.35", which was over an inch above normal.

On Saturday, June 16, just one day into the monsoon season, our first haboob hit the Valley and there were 16 others to follow, towering anywhere from 2,500 to 4,000 feet tall.

That's not even counting all the others that hit to our south or even the less dense, more localized dust storms.

Even though it was arguably the dustiest monsoon ever, we still saw a lot of rain.

Many of the storms popped up late at night, pouring rain over the Valley while most of us slept but there were some big exceptions.

Heavy rain and flooding hit the San Tan Valley on Sunday, July 29. Some spots got over an inch of rain and were pelted with dime to nickel-sized hail.

The damage was overwhelming for some Anthem residents on Tuesday, July 31 when a microburst hit bringing five inches of rain in just 90 minutes.

Winds gusted over 60 mph with pea-sized hail and the rainfall came so fast that rivers of floodwaters brought down cement walls and gushed into people's homes.

It rained almost all day on Friday, Sept. 7 with some East Valley spots picking up more than two inches.

All of that rain quickly led to massive street flooding in the far East Valley and at least one swift water rescue in Apache Junction.

Waterman Wash in Goodyear is normally dry, but that day it was flowing at 5.8 feet.

Just as our monsoon moisture started to clear out, one last blast hit Deer Valley on Sept. 12 knocking down trees and power lines and bringing severe damage to several mobile homes in that area.

Monsoon 2012 will go down as above normal in every way: above normal rainfall, above normal dust storms and above normal temperatures.

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