YUMA, Ariz. - The month of June is on it's way and while summer is officially approaching so is Monsoon season. For those that aren't familiar, Monsoons are a major wind system that seasonally reverses its direction and in the U.S, it only occurs in the Desert Southwest. The season begins in mid June and lasts throughout the end of September and it can bring intense rain, powerful winds and a high number of lightning strikes. Paul Brierley, the Executive Director of the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture, explains what this season could mean for local farmers.
"If we have a monsoon in the summer and it delays the wheat harvest, then that may ripple on down and impact when we can plant vegetables, which impacts when we can harvest the vegetables and meet that contract. These huge down pours, can take a crop and just pummel it to the ground, so it is not harvestable. It definitely delays, sometimes you get three inches of rain in no time, so it delays the harvest," said Brierley.
Brierley also adds that while monsoonal thunderstorms tend to be isolated, the effects can still be damaging. With Yuma being the salad capital of the world, other states depend on our resources so when a thunderstorm does come through, it can have major impact on the crops quality of life, which in turn harms the farmers business.