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John_Cillis

Scenes around Phoenix Sky Harbor - 7/5/2019

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I used to work as WAN manager and purchasing agent in the tall building in the third pic from the bottom.  My office desk faced Sky Harbor and I had a view like the second pic from the bottom--quite distracting from my job!  I was the office weather forecaster and would warn my colleagues and supervisors of approaching monsoon storms.  In 1996 we had a huge monsoon storm hit--two mesocyclones from opposite directions approached from the north and the south and merged right on top of W/NW Phoenix.  The winds from that storm, which had hurricane force winds of category 3 strength for more than 30 minutes, damaged many aircraft at Deer Valley which costs in the tens of millions of dollars alone.  I warned my office mates just in time for us to get on the road and get in our homes before the storm hit, it even had mammatus clouds which indicate Tornado force winds.  The winds at Deer Valley hit 115 mph and the winds at my home averaged between 75 and 100mph for 30 minutes.  Add to that more cloud to ground lightning strikes than ever recorded in Arizona.  Although our home was spared damage because a tall tree blocked most of the winds on our roof, we saw many tiles torn from our neighbors' roofs.  Even clay tiles were torn from roofs, and block brick fences were toppled by the winds.  Next morning when I drove to work, debris was piled high on 75th Avenue and other local streets in the center by cleanup crews.  Some homes were without power for two weeks, we lost ours for much of the night.

The storm is mentioned at the bottom of this link's stpry, it was one of the largest weather events in terms of insured damage that year in the US.

That day I made it home before the storm with only five minutes to spare, got my car in the garage, and it sounded from the wind like a hammer was hitting our garage door, which became a pain to pull up and down after that until we had it fixed before selling that home.

John

http://archive.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/0624monsoonstorms-CR.html

 

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