Hail hits northwest Valley as rain moves through Phoenix area
PHOENIX — Rain that moved through the Phoenix area on Thursday quickly turned into hail during a day that also saw heavy snowfall in northern Arizona.
The weather service said hail was reported in the northwest Valley on the Interstate 17 at Anthem. It formed when temperatures reached the low 40s.
ADOT – That is most likely hail. Getting spotter reports of hail from thunderstorms in the area. https://t.co/RQUVw4naaH
— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) February 21, 2019
— Jeremy Foster (@Houston923FM) February 21, 2019
The areas that were impacted included New River, Cave Creek, Camp Creek, Horseshoe Reservoir and Seven Springs.
Snow reportedly began to fall in some parts of Phoenix, Scottsdale and other communities.
— City of Phoenix, AZ (@CityofPhoenixAZ) February 21, 2019
However, meteorologist Bianca Hernandez told The Associated Press that snow only appeared at elevations of 3,000 feet or higher, making those areas unlikely to have received snow.
What people saw was more likely a form of precipitation called “graupel.”
It’s the product of water droplets collecting on falling snowflakes. Once it gets into lower elevations, it resembles hail.
Hernandez said it can look like snow once it hits the ground.
About an inch of rain was expected to hit the streets and highways in and around Phoenix, meteorologist Chris Kuhlman told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
An inch would set a record for the date. The high mark of 0.73 inches was set in 1973.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport had received .64 inches of rain as of 8:39 p.m.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for parts of the Valley from 11 p.m. Thursday to 9 a.m. Friday.
Winter Storm Warnings remain in effect for elevations above 3000 feet (pink area on map) We've also added a Winter Weather Advisory (less intense situation) for elevations between 2000-3000 feet (blue/purple area). Up to 2 inches in those areas but mostly less than 1. #azwx pic.twitter.com/asJLqFZyjU
— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) February 22, 2019
It also issued an areal flood warning for parts of the southeast Valley through 3:30 a.m. Friday.
A snowfall record was set in northern Arizona, as the Flagstaff airport saw 31.6 inches by 5 p.m., breaking a one-day mark set in 1915.
Flagstaff Airport is up to 31.6" of snow for the day as of 5pm! This eclipses the previous all-time daily record for Flagstaff of 31.0" (set in 1915)! We still have 7 more hrs to add to this record. The storm total including before midnight is 33.1" for this event so far. #azwx
— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) February 22, 2019
The Associated Press contributed to this report.