National Weather Service, Phoenix prep for monsoon season

- National Weather Service officials met with Phoenix city leaders on Wednesday to get ready for the upcoming monsoon season.

"The early season is going to be in June," Bianca Hernandez said, and the prediction for the 2017 monsoon season calls for an average season with a small increase in heat, dry lightning, and gusty winds.

"Our threats for monsoon is more fire weather-based, so that's what we are more concerned about," Hernandez said.

The City of Phoenix, along with the Emergency Management Department, said they are ready for the storms, whenever it blows in.

"We prepare for the worst," said Lisa Jones, Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the City of Phoenix. "We've seen the worst in 2014. 2007 was another year. Some years, you don't have very much at all, but we have to prepare."

Part of preparing for the monsoon season also involves getting residents ready.

"Some is through ensuring that we have all of our equipment ready to go," said Tina Slankas, Deputy Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for the City of Phoenix. "Some is sending out reminders to our residents of things that they can do to prepare."

The directors of Phoenix's Homeland Security and Emergency Management said their relationship with the National Weather Service is important.

"We know, 'well, it's going to be a pretty much a heavy weather day', we'll give them maybe several hours' notice," said Ken Waters, a Warning Coordinator Meteorologist with the National Weather Service. "The very nature of the monsoon, it's very localized, and it's very quick."

The bottom line, for both city officials and residents, is that readiness -- for heat, rain or dust -- is key.

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