One of the perks of living in the southwest is warm weather and low precipitation year-round. We don’t see heavy snowfall or freezing temperatures like other areas of the country. If you live in the Phoenix or Tucson area, you probably don’t think too hard about tires.
In areas that see harsh winters, snow tires are important – often essential – for safe winter driving. While we don’t have to worry to much about snow, Arizonans face unique weather in the summer and fall that can make driving more hazardous – monsoon season.
What is Monsoon Season?
If you are a long time Arizona resident, you already know what monsoon season is. But for those new to the area, it’s a foreign concept. An arid, desert climate has a monsoon season? Yep, shifts in wind directions bring moisture and severe thunderstorms. Nearly all the rain Arizona gets annually occurs during this season, which lasts from June 15th through September 30th.
These periods of heavy rain can lead to some pretty hazardous driving conditions. Standing water will buildup on highways and dry roads can become slick in a matter of minutes.
A lot of drivers assume that traction doesn’t vary much between types of tires. This is far from the truth. Variables like rubber compound and tread design greatly impact the way a tire performs in different conditions. Engineers spend a lot of time developing tires for different road conditions and driving styles.
A tire with good wet traction will feature deeper grooves in tread. Deeper grooves allow water to be channeled out from under the tire. The grooves will direct the water to the outside of the tire, working to prevent hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when a film of water forms between the tire and the road. This condition can cause a driver to lose control and possibly crash.
It’s important to consider the condition of your tires in addition to the design. Even tires that still have an inspection-passing level of tread (over 2/32” of an inch) are not nearly as effective in wet conditions as they once were. In fact, when a tire reaches 4/32” of an inch, it is recommended for use only on dry roads.
What tires do I need for monsoon season?
Ultimately, it comes down to a tire’s ability to perform on wet roads. The brand and type (all-season, summer) is not as important as the tread design and tire compound. Tires that offer strong hydroplaning resistance and deeper tread depth are your best bet during monsoon season.
Borst Automotive for Tires and Auto Repair
At Borst Automotive, we strive to provide customers in Tucson, Phoenix, and Mesa Arizona with top-quality repairs that ensure safety at a fair price. This means making sure you have good tires to keep you on the road when monsoon season comes around. Our teams of ASE-Certified technicians and knowledgeable service advisors can help you decide what tires are best for your car. Call, schedule an appointment online, or stop in at one of our locations today!