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Rain, lightning shake up morning drive time

PHOENIX — Heavy rain and lightning strikes early Thursday morning have put flights behind schedule at Sky Harbor Airport and made the morning commute difficult.

Sky Harbor received about three-quarters of an inch of rain and the storm is severe enough that the National Weather Service issued an urban flood advisory for the southeast Phoenix area of Ahwatukee, Tempe and Laveen.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s airport status site listed outbound flights were being held at their gates, while inbound flights were delayed by about 15 minutes.

Weather Service spokesman Chris Kuhlman said more rain is on the way at least through Saturday. The Valley has reached 4.5 inches of rain for the year, about a half-inch above the norm. The official gauge is at the airport, where it had gone 101 days without any measurable rainfall until last week.

The record streak without rainfall at Sky Harbor is 160 days set in 1972.

KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this article.