18 Stunning Images of Monsoons from Around the World

Image: Rohit Chhiber

A monsoonal storm approaches White Sands National Park in New Mexico.

From North America to the Amazon, from Sri Lanka and Northern Australia, the monsoon rains are an eagerly awaited event in many parts of the world. Here are some stormy photos of this extraordinary weather phenomenon, and the stories of the landscapes within them.

The sand grains at White Sands National Park are made from translucent gypsum. Wind movement rubs sand grains against each other, scratching them so that they appear white. The North American monsoon is often called the Desert Monsoon, as a large part of the affected area is arid or semi-arid. However, with the seasonal rains come many wildflowers can only bloom thanks to the annual downpour.

Image: Larry Lamsa

Dark storm clouds contrast dramatically with these red cliffs of New Mexico.

The Southwestern Monsoon of North America normally hits around the beginning of July, bringing about half the region’s annual rainfall with it. New Mexico and Arizona are hit by wild winds and thunderstorms, with lighting strikes being common. The monsoon here is widely variable, both in its timings and the amount of precipitation, and is believed to be greatly affected by the El Nino/El Nina climate patterns.