Val­ley braces as first big win­ter storm ar­rives

Chris McCrory Ari­zona Repub­lic USA TO­DAY NET­WORK

The Arizona Republic - - Front Page -

The Phoenix area was an­tic­i­pat­ing a 100 per­cent chance of rain early this morn­ing, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice, and may see a thun­der­storm or two as a low-pres­sure sys­tem moves through Ari­zona over the next two days.

The Val­ley was ex­pect­ing “show­ers and pos­si­bly a thun­der­storm be­fore 11 p.m.” Tues­day night, ac­cord­ing to pre­dic­tions on the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice web­site.

Show­ers were ex­pected through­out the day to­day.

“We’ve got a Pa­cific storm sys­tem that’s go­ing to be af­fect­ing our weather,” said me­te­o­rol­o­gist Marvin Per­cha

with the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice in Phoenix. “It’s go­ing to be pro­gress­ing east­ward.”

Most ar­eas in the Val­ley were ex­pected to see any­where from a quar­ter of an inch to half an inch of rain, but Per­cha said even that lit­tle bit of water can make a dif­fer­ence.

Oils in the road­way can be brought up by rain­fall, mak­ing streets es­pe­cially slip­pery, he said.

The Ari­zona Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety took to so­cial me­dia ahead of the wet weather to of­fer safety tips for driv­ers.

But this storm sys­tem, mov­ing in from Cal­i­for­nia, was not ex­pected to linger.

“It’s pretty quick-mov­ing. Rain­fall wont last long,” Per­cha said. “But it’s got a de­cent amount of mois­ture.”

He said the front of the sys­tem was heavy with rain and was all but guar­an­teed to bring the first mea­sur­able rain of the win­ter to Greater Phoenix.

Tem­per­a­tures were ex­pected to re­main in the 60s to­day be­fore warm­ing later this week.

The storm was ex­pected to be a boon to the colder parts of the state, which have seen lit­tle or no snow this sea­son.

Flagstaff and com­mu­ni­ties above 5,500 feet were ex­pected to see 1 to 3 inches of snow. Per­cha said some moun­tain ar­eas could get up to 6 inches.

This will be the first sig­nif­i­cant rain­fall in Phoenix this sea­son, Per­cha said. A warm and dry win­ter has kept tem­per­a­tures in the low 70s and hu­mid­ity down. And fol­low­ing this storm, that pat­tern is likely to re­turn, he said.

“It looks like, af­ter this sys­tem, we’re prob­a­bly go­ing to go back to a drier pat­tern for at least a week,” he said.

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