Updated Jun 4, 2012 - 4:10 pm
Surprise summer storm rolls through Valley
It's not monsoon season yet, but a severe storm surprised many Valley residents on Wednesday.
The storm hit about 4:20 p.m. and was bringing heavy rain, wind and hail to parts of the Valley.
There were no major road closures but there is slowing throughout the Valley on the freeways.
"We have a low pressure [system] to our south over northern Mexico which brought some limited amounts of moisture into the state," said meteorologist Mike Bruce with the National Weather Service. "We had some thunderstorms develop northeast of us and they have moved to the southwest into the metro area affecting mainly areas from Cave Creek, Carefree, down to Scottsdale and across the East Valley."
Bruce said some wind speeds could hit as high as 60 miles per hour.
Arizona Department of Public Safety officer Carrick Cook said over 20 crashes have been reported since the storm began.
"It's just one of those circumstances where they're so scattered out all over the place that I think everywhere is going to have a long delay," he said.
DPS is currently working to prevent any secondary crashes.
Power lines were reported to be down in several areas, including near the intersection of Alma School and Main in Mesa and near Ironwood and McCormick. Salt River Project said about 1,700 customers were without power in south Phoenix, Tempe and Mesa.
APS said via Twitter they had about 13,000 customers without power in the Phoenix metro area around 8:00 p.m.
@KTAR923 lights out on grand and Osborn all the way past 35th ave.— Kim Fleming Reynolds (@LadyReyna) May 9, 2012
Sky Harbor were experiencing 16 to 30 minutes delays. Passengers are urged to check their flight status before coming to the airport. It was also reported that planes that were trying to land were being waved off.
U.S. Airways reported having flights diverted. Three went to Las Vegas and two went to Tucson. Southwest also reported that they had five flights diverted, but did not say where. All the planes will land and refuel before returning to Phoenix.
Microbursts have also been reported and have thrown furniture off of a truck on southbound Ironwood Road near the motocross track. A driver reported a microburst had blown their car windows out, said Elias Johnson with Pinal County Sheriff's Office.
Many downed trees southbound Higley Rd south of San Tan Vlg @KTAR923— Susen Adcox (@SusenAdcox) May 10, 2012
A mobile home was lifted off of its foundation near Ironwood and Germann, said Detour Dan Beach.
The storm originally hit the East Valley. Some residents reported a small wall of dust preceding the storm.
"Moving off toward Gila Bend in that area there could be some problems," said Valley meteorologist James Quinones. "But right now, it does seem like the bulk of these heavy storms have moved through Chandler with a few cells right now. We've had some pretty good [rain] totals, unfortunately, some folks out in the West Valley have missed out on the rain game."
The severe weather is expected to affect the Valley until 7:00 p.m.