Cellpic Sunday – 17 March 2019

Buckeye, Arizona.

They call it a desert, but the Sonoran Desert is the wettest desert in the world averaging about 10 inches (254 mm) per year. Phoenix and it’s surrounding metro area is the largest populated area in the desert which covers over half of Arizona, parts of California, and much of the Mexican state of Sonora. Contrast that with the Atacama Desert in Chile which averages 0.6 inches (15 mm) per year. According to Wikipedia, some weather stations in the Atacama desert have not received measurable rain since they were installed.

So it is not uncommon for us to see clouds and rain shafts giving the mountains near our house in Buckeye a nice drink of water especially during the “monsoon” season that peaks between July and August. In the summer while we are in North Dakota, the usually westerly flow of air traveling across Arizona shifts southeasterly bringing with it moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The winters in Arizona are relatively dry by comparison which helps to attract us snow birds from the colder climates.

About the photo: Captured on my Samsung S6 cellphone a few years ago, this rainshower over the White Tank Mountains completely missed the golf course and the populated areas of our neighborhood. We happened to be sitting on the patio of the restaurant at the golf club when the storm came up, dropped a significant amount of rain and then disappeared as quickly as it started. The image was processed using Lightroom and Luminar 2018.

John Steiner


  1. A lovely capture and very interesting information about the Sonoran Desert, John. I have fond memories of driving through the desert and stopover in Phoenix on my way to LV many, many years ago.

  2. had no idea about the Sonoran Desert being the wettest desert – and I love learning about our country – so thanks – and the photo is wonderful – moody and the depth is cool

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