‘Atmospheric river’ likely to drench Phoenix area on Valentine’s Day

Feb 13, 2019, 8:09 AM | Updated: Feb 14, 2019, 7:55 am

(Screenshot/ CityCam)...

(Screenshot/ CityCam)

(Screenshot/ CityCam)

PHOENIX – An “atmospheric river” is fast approaching metro Phoenix and the rain that falls will likely break the hearts of anyone planning on patio dining for Valentine’s Day.

Chances of rain hammering the Valley on Thursday jumped to 100 percent, according to weather experts, after early odds of 80 percent. Up north will be hit even harder.

“There’s a lot of moisture coming up from the Pacific,” Jaret Rogers, National Weather Service Phoenix bureau meteorologist, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“We should see quite a bit of rainfall,” he said Wednesday. The Valley could get more than a half-inch and some areas could approach three-quarters of an inch.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration explained an atmospheric river as:

… relatively long, narrow regions in the atmosphere – like rivers in the sky – that transport most of the water vapor outside of the tropics.

These columns of vapor move with the weather, carrying an amount of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

When the atmospheric rivers make landfall, they often release this water vapor in the form of rain or snow.”

“We’re forecasting record levels of moisture … in the air,” Rogers said.

A flood watch was scheduled to go into effect at 5 a.m. in Cave Creek and New River and last until late Friday morning.

Brent Fenton with Daisy Mountain Fire Medical advised drivers against attempting to wade through even the shallowest of waters in case of flash floods.

“We always encourage drivers — no matter how little water there is on the road, we recommend they don’t cross,” he told KTAR News.

Fenton said the department’s substations in New River and Black Canyon City also have sandbags available for residents who want to secure their homes.

Temperatures won’t fall much below 60 degrees during the bulk of the storm. Thursday’s high was supposed to be 58 degrees.

Flagstaff was on alert for heavy rain; snow would be a problem above 8,000 feet elevation.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

In this Sept. 15, 1966, file photo, then Georgia State Sen. Jimmy Carter hugs his wife, Rosalynn, a...

Associated Press

Jimmy Carter admirers across generations celebrate the former president’s 99th birthday

Attendees on Saturday saw tributes to Jimmy Carter and competed in rounds of trivia that highlighted underappreciated details about his life.

6 hours ago

(Facebook File Photo/Phoenix Police Department)...

Man kills woman, shoots man then commits suicide in South Phoenix

According to Phoenix police, a Phoenix man shot and killed himself after witnesses identified him as a suspect in an earlier double shooting.

8 hours ago

patrol car in front of caution tape...

Man shot and killed Friday night in downtown Phoenix

Phoenix police detectives are seeking more information after officer found a man with a gunshot wound in downtown Phoenix late Friday night.

9 hours ago

Officer involved shooting Glendale...

Police investigating deaths of 2 men in Glendale

Police are investigating the deaths of two men in Glendale.

10 hours ago

File photo of a night-time crime scene in Phoenix, Arizona....

Man killed after motorcycle crashes into car in Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal collision involving a motorcycle and a car that took place in a Phoenix intersection

12 hours ago

(Photo provided by Peoria Police Department.)...

Police seek assistance in locating endangered senior from Peoria

The Peoria Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating an 83-year-old man who has several medical conditions, for which he receives medical treatment.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

Sanderson Ford...

Sanderson Ford

Sanderson Ford congratulates D-backs’ on drive to great first half of 2023

The Arizona Diamondbacks just completed a red-hot first half of the major league season, and Sanderson Ford wants to send its congratulations to the ballclub.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

‘Atmospheric river’ likely to drench Phoenix area on Valentine’s Day