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Hail hits northwest Valley as rain moves through Phoenix area

(Twitter/@ArizonaDOT)

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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