Storm winds cut through Phoenix area, rain hitches ride
PHOENIX – Rain was light but wind was fierce during an overnight storm that blew through metro Phoenix.
Winds peaked at 51 mph early Wednesday at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, the National Weather Service reported. Gusts of 47 swept through Paradise Valley; a weather gauge at Mesa’s Falcon Field registered 46 mph while blustering reached 41 mph.
“Across Maricopa County we saw pretty widespread 30-40 mph winds,” Phoenix weather bureau meteorologist Bianca Feldkircher told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
On top of that, the temperature dropped 12 degrees in half an hour after the storm front came through.
— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) December 15, 2021
“It was pretty much from 11:45 p.m. to 12:15 a.m.,” Feldkircher said.
Residents across the Navajo Nation were without power Wednesday after powerful winds moved across the region. Navajo Tribal Utility Authority spokeswoman Deenise Becenti said the outage affected at least 10,000 homes.
Wind knocked over power lines in Shiprock in the New Mexico portion of the reservation. A piece of metal flew off a building and hit a powerline in Kayenta. Becenti said crews were dispatched, but there was no time estimate on when power will be restored.
Arizona Public Service Co. also experienced outages that affected Navajo communities near Winslow and the Hopi reservation.
Rain made less of an impact locally. Sky Harbor had a trace of rain at 0.3 inches and most areas had less than a quarter-inch.
“That’s probably due to how fast this system actually moved through,” Feldkircher said. She estimated the storm came and went between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.
The Valley will get drier, calmer conditions Wednesday with a high of 59 degrees. The same cannot not be said up north.
Snow fell fast and furious because of the winds. Only about 1 1/2 inches dropped at the Flagstaff airport, but road conditions were icy and hazardous.
— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) December 15, 2021
Huffing and puffing hit 59 mph in Flagstaff, Sedona and Williams, the weather office in Bellmont said.
Far less wind is expected to blow Wednesday, up to 22 mph, then tapers off to around 6 mph at night, forecasters said.
The high in Flagstaff is likely to reach 35 degrees with a low of 9 degrees.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and the Associated Press contributed to this report.