Arizona closes wet February with rain, hail in Phoenix, snow up north

Mar 1, 2017, 4:47 AM | Updated: 12:33 pm

PHOENIX — An already wet February ended with a splash on Tuesday as a storm brought snow to northern Arizona and rain and hail to the Phoenix area.

Rain gauges across Maricopa County recorded precipitation from the storm that moved into the area over the weekend. Most spots in the southeast Valley received a few tenths on an inch, while some areas of the north Valley received more than an inch.

Hail was reported in the northwest Valley, downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale on Tuesday.

Streams, washes and creeks ran full Tuesday as the moisture flooded into the state’s water system. At least one person was killed trying to cross a flooded creek in Rimrock, a little less than a two-hour drive from Phoenix.

Northern Arizona received a healthy amount of snow. The National Weather Service said cities such as Flagstaff, Bellemont and Kachina Village received between 12 and 18 inches of snow from the storm.

This year’s February was a big difference compared to last year.

In 2016, the Phoenix area didn’t receive a drop of rain for the entire month and saw 20 days when the high was at least 80 degrees. It was the warmest February on record, with the average high sitting at 66 degrees.

This year was a very different story. The National Weather Service said Phoenix received 1.24 inches of rain during February and was a full four degrees cooler on average than last year.

The weather service said Phoenix had received 2.28 inches of rain in January and February as of Tuesday morning, up from the average of 1.79 inches.

The state’s snowpacks were also looking much better this year when compared to last. Some were as high as 200 percent above normal in January, while the snowpacks were at less than 20 percent in early March 2016.

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Arizona closes wet February with rain, hail in Phoenix, snow up north