Storm blows in, drops rain on metro Phoenix, snow in Flagstaff
PHOENIX – A winter storm pushed through Arizona on Thursday and left measurable rain in metro Phoenix for the first time in months, while other parts of the state got a good amount of snow.
By the time the clock struck 1:30 a.m. Friday, 0.35 inches of rain had fallen at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the National Weather Service reported. The bureau said it was the wettest day since Sept. 1.
Bianca Feldkircher, a meteorologist with the Phoenix weather bureau, told KTAR News 92.3 FM early Friday the East Valley saw the bigger rain numbers.
“It looks like the eastern portion of the Valley .. [was] seeing more of the quarter- to half-inch range,” Feldkircher said. “Fountain Hills, Cave Creek saw a lot.”
A map at the Maricopa County Flood Control website showed Fountain Hills hit the high mark with a one-day 1.22 inches recorded at Sun Ridge Canyon Dam.
In nearby north Scottsdale, both Fraesfeld Mountain near Pinnacle Peak and a neighborhood next to Troon Mountain cracked 0.91 inches.
Totals varied widely around the Valley, according to map data. Sun City West notched 0.04 inches, a Mesa gauge at Price Road and the Western Canal had 0.47 inches, and a part of central Phoenix had 0.63 inches.
There has been so little rain locally this fall that when 0.01 inches collected at the official airport gauge around 8 p.m., the weather service happily announced it was the first measurable rain since Oct. 11.
(Screenshot/Maricopa County Flood Control)
Higher elevations had snow. Flagstaff had its most impactful storm of the season with about 1.6 inches overnight.
It has changed over to snow here at the office in Bellemont. While many of us are excited about the snow this also means you can expect road conditions in the high country to deteriorate through the night. Be on the lookout for snow on roadways and by all means, slow down. #azwx pic.twitter.com/vzY7XcfEt4
— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) December 10, 2021
Snow and ice created difficult driving conditions: a vehicle slid off westbound Interstate 40 near the Walnut Canyon National Monument around 4 a.m. Friday, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation traffic map.
The skies up north and down in the Valley will clear up over the weekend, Feldkircher said, as the storm system continues to move east.
“We are expecting quieter conditions this weekend across the state but we are expecting much colder conditions,” she said.
The high Friday in Phoenix was predicted to reach 64 degrees with a low of 43; Saturday could be 67 degrees with a low of 41. Sunday warms to 70 degrees and a low of 46.
Flagstaff was heading for a high of 37 degrees Friday and a possible low of 16; Saturday could reach 45 degrees with a low 22. Sunday jumps to 49 degrees with a low of 26.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nick Sadowski contributed to this report.