Funnel clouds form in northeast Valley as rain continues across Phoenix

Mar 12, 2019, 1:39 PM | Updated: 5:08 pm

PHOENIX — Well, this isn’t something you see everyday.

At least two funnel clouds — yes, actual funnel clouds — formed in the northeast Valley on Tuesday afternoon as rain spread across the metro Phoenix area.

Ken Waters with the National Weather Service said two funnel clouds were confirmed in Fountain Hills around noon.

People reported seeing the funnel cloud around Falcon Field Airport in Mesa and near State Route 87 and Gilbert Road in the East Valley.

Larry Hopper with National Weather Service told KTAR News 92.3 FM that while funnel clouds are rare, they do occur in Arizona.

“It’s something that’s been happening a decent amount this fall and winter season. But we haven’t had any confirmation of any touch downs to this point.”

As the day progressed, thunderstorms developed, including one that dropped pea-sized hail and torrential rain near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport around 4 p.m.

The rain coated the Valley on the same day that Phoenix residents turned out to the polls to elect either Kate Gallego or Daniel Valenzuela as mayor.

Pollster Mike Noble said the weather could hurt a turnout that was already expected to be low.

Despite the dark skies and unusual weather, Sky Harbor only recorded .06 inches of rain as of Tuesday afternoon.

Hopper said the rain was starting to make its way out of the Valley as of Tuesday afternoon.

He told KTAR News that the heaviest storms have moved out of the area, but scattered showers could continue until Wednesday.

The Valley has measured 2.53 inches of rain this year, about a half-inch above average.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ashley Flood contributed to this report. 

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Funnel clouds form in northeast Valley as rain continues across Phoenix