The old-timers just called it the rainy season–July-August. But somehow the name “monsoon” gained popularity, and now pretty much everyone uses it. This year, especially after a particularly hot and dry June, the word has become part of a prayer, as in “I hope to God we get a good monsoon this year.”
Clouds are especially important to me because they are so much a part of my photography. Watching the long-term forecast, satellite images, webcams, etc. I plan photo trips around sky conditions. The more dramatic the clouds, the better.
I was especially lucky a couple of days ago: Flying home from Minneapolis, we encountered beautiful thunderheads over Taos, and all the way into Albuquerque. If only I had been packing a bigger camera!