Severe thunderstorms expected in the Valley through Tuesday morning
PHOENIX — It looks like Mother Nature is making her first fall appearance in the Valley.
Heavy rain began to fall early Monday morning, mostly in the south and southeast parts of the Valley.
Storms moved more north throughout the day. A tornado warning was issued until 12:45 p.m. for the Cave Creek, Carefree and Camp Creek areas.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Tempe until 5:30 p.m.
In response to the rainfall, Salt River Project said it was releasing water into the normally dry Salt River from the Stewart Mountain and Granite Reef dams, which could produce dangerous conditions at flooded crossings in the Valley.
The water was expected to reach the Salt River crossings at Gilbert and McKellips road this afternoon and result in road closures before evening rush hour, SRP said in a press release.
Thunderstorms were expected to come in waves, with the brunt coming Monday afternoon and lasting throughout the night with possible damaging winds up to 60 mph, hail one inch in diameter, 1-3 inches of rain and weak, isolated tornadoes.
“These are not your typical monsoon storms even though we’re at the very tail end of the monsoon period,” National Weather Service forecaster Chris Breckenridge told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday.
“We could be seeing some hail that’s one inch in diameter, maybe even larger than that, strong winds that could be damaging over 60 mph. … It’s certainly one of the more potent weather situations and setups that we’ve seen in the last several years. We usually don’t get the lows like this this time of year.”
In Mesa, all northbound traffic was closed on Crismon Road between Baseline Road and Southern Avenue due to flooding, the Mesa Police Department said in a tweet.
State Route 88 was closed in both directions near Roosevelt Lake due to flooding and cleanup work, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.