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The heat is off: Phoenix to see cooler weather, possible rain in upcoming week

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — It’s beginning to feel a lot like winter in the Valley: The Phoenix area is expected to see a 180-degree change in weather starting Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Winter in the Valley of the Sun has felt incredibly warm, thanks to a heat wave that has been breaking records time and time again. This past February was recorded as the hottest the state has ever seen.

The average high around this time is in the mid-70s, according to the National Weather Service in Phoenix.

But due to a Pacific storm system, the heat will all end soon, pushing temperatures into the low 50s and even bringing a possibility of rain to the Valley early next week.

Phoenix-area forecast during the week of March 6:

• Sunday: High of 78 degrees, low of 50 degrees, 10 percent chance of afternoon rain

• Monday: High of 70 degrees, low of 49 degrees, 20 percent chance of showers

• Tuesday: High of 73 degrees, low of 50 degrees, 10 percent chance of showers

• Wednesday: High of 77 degrees, low of 52 degrees

• Thursday: High of 80 degrees, low of 54 degrees

• Friday: High of 83 degrees

The rainfall is much needed in Phoenix: the area has not seen rainfall since the end of January, leaving February rainless for only the seventh time on record.

Weather officials have been anticipating the rain for weeks. James Sawtell with National Weather Service said he hoped the El Nino storm system would call for a soggier March.

“There’s still a chance that March could turn out significantly better than February because of the strong El Nino,” he said. “The traditional impacts of El Nino in the desert Southwest include a better chance for above normal rainfall in January, February and March.”

Marvin Percha with the National Weather Service in Phoenix said the Valley could see up to a half-inch of rainfall on Monday and could even linger into Tuesday.

“It looks like once it arrives, perhaps we’ll have a couple more systems moving through,” he said. “It’s really uncertain on the timing and intensity. But definitely a cooler period is on the way.”

The Associated Press and KTAR News’ Jim Cross contributed to this report. 

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