Little Storms and Their Aftermath

by Mark Hahn


In Arizona, when the time is right, little storms come right out of nowhere. It can be sunny and bright where you are standing, and then, Boom! You’re suddenly hit hard and can no longer see a single thing outside the storm around you.

These storms are as violent as they are sudden. Lightning and flash flooding occurs in minutes. Small wildfires start wherever there is enough fuel to burn. The desert is a tinderbox.

Roads are washed away and power lost. The poor soil often becomes unstable. All you can do is ride out these storms.

While driving toward Globe, just south of Mammoth, we stopped to take in the little storms forming over the landscapes around us. It was still peaceful and calm where we were standing.

When they’re done, the waters rush away and within moments, there is nothing left of the little storms other than the cooled air and the smell of fresh green growth. Small flowers burst from nowhere. The scars are transformed into beautiful new growth. After they pass, it’s hard to remember how bad the storms ever were.

Just past Winkelman, the remains of a wild fire were just visible from AZ Highway 77. We stopped and walked through the small valley that had been cut through the rugged mountains by the Gila River. The contrast between the burned forest and the new growth gave a feeling of hope to the hot damp air.

Storms come and go, but the beauty of nature always adapts and things continue on.