ADOT Kids: Monsoon season is here!

EDITOR'S NOTE: ADOT Kids is an initiative connecting children with transportation-related subjects. Whether or not your child aspires to a career in engineering, we hope everyone finds ADOT Kids fun and informative. You'll find many other activities on the ADOT Kids website at azdot.gov/ADOTKids.

Dust storm photoBy Doug Pacey / ADOT Communications

Arizona officially entered monsoon season earlier this week. That means many of us will probably experience a few dust storms and heavy rainstorms over the next few months.

Dust storms can be fun to watch live on TV news or YouTube videos. They grow thousands of feet high, dozens of miles wide and sometimes seem like a computer-generated special effect from a blockbuster movie. Did you know on July 9, 2018, a dust storm soared a mile high and traveled nearly 200 miles, going from Arizona’s Mogollon Rim, through Phoenix and on to Yuma before fizzling out near Imperial, California?

Because dust storms can get so big, they can affect roads and people traveling in cars. If you’re in a car and see a dust storm ahead, the driver shouldn't go into it. If a dust storm moves quickly and your car can’t avoid it, ADOT recommends following the “Pull Aside, Stay Alive” tips to increase your safety in a dust storm.

To help kids become familiar with dust storm safety, we've created some fun activities that you'll find below and on the ADOT Kids website at azdot.gov/ADOTKids.

CREATE AND SHARE A DUST STORM SAFETY MESSAGE: We're encouraging you to create your own sign to keep people from driving into a dangerous dust storm. At ADOT, we use the slogan Pull Aside, Stay Alive. Create your own message, then take a picture of it and email to [email protected] by 5 p.m. Friday, June 26, and we’ll feature it on our social media and the ADOT Kids webpage! There's a coloring sheet at the bottom, but you can create the message any way you want.

WORD SEARCH: Do you like word searches? If so, you’ll enjoy activity below where we’ve hidden 18 monsoon-related terms.  

CONNECT THE DOTS: The activity below gives you a glimpse at what cars should do when a dust storm is rolling through.

If you want to see some videos of what it’s like to drive into a dust storm – and why it’s dangerous – ADOT has created this playlist of videos on YouTube.

Please keep an eye on the ADOT Blog over the next week for interesting posts about monsoon season, including a video featuring the dust detection and warning system we've installed along 10 miles of Interstate 10 between Tucson and Phoenix. You'll also hear an original ADOT song about dust storm safety.

For more information about the severe weather events that can happen in Arizona during monsoon season, please check out the National Weather Service’s Monsoon Safety Page.


Safety message coloring sheet
(Please email yours to [email protected] and we'll feature it on social media and our website!)
Dust storm safety message activity

Word search
Monsoon word search

Connect the dots
Monsoon connect the dots