With Mike Olbinski's help, I put together basically what this thread opens with, but in educational video form after chasing the Desert Southwest Monsoon for the first time this past summer. It's complete with weather graphics, animations, video, etc. I'd like to thank Susan Strom for the healthy amount of inspiration for this one. I think I first read this thread in 2011! I followed much the same concept--Subvert expectations, start with climatology, explain some of the etymology, discuss the hazards and reasons the desert southwest monsoon is so interesting.