Thousands lose power, parts of metro Phoenix get rain in first monsoon storm of season

Jul 27, 2023, 6:30 AM | Updated: 7:19 am

cars are seen in a stormy arizona night on the street...

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

PHOENIX — The first monsoon storm of the season hit metro Phoenix on Wednesday night, knocking out power for thousands of residents and bringing the first rain in months to some areas.

By 10:30 p.m., about 22,000 SRP customers and another 5,000 APS customers were without power due to the severity of the storm. By Thursday morning, the number decreased to about 180 APS customers and 1,600 SRP customers.

The East Valley was hit first around 9 p.m., with Apache Junction getting almost one inch of rain. Queen Creek, Mesa and Chandler received between one-tenth and a quarter-inch of rain.

By 10 p.m., a dust storm made its way through the Valley, bringing winds of up to 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm made its way to Scottsdale and north of downtown Phoenix, with rain gauges recording anywhere between one-tenth of an inch and one inch of rain.

“Now, a lot of people didn’t see much rain at all, however, there was a lucky few that got between a half-inch and an inch of rain,” NWS Spokesman Mark O’Malley told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

While a majority of the wind gusts recorded throughout the Valley were between 45-55 mph, some isolated incidents at the Scottsdale and Deer Valley airports saw gusts of over 60 mph, O’Malley said.

“Largely, most of what we saw produced some downed tree limbs, a few downed power lines and a lot of blowing dust out there,” O’Malley said.

A rain gauge in Glendale saw .75 inches of rain, but only a handful of others in the West Valley received less than a quarter-inch of rain.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were in effect for Maricopa and Pinal counties due to the storm.

A slight relief from the heat

Sky Harbor International Airport, which the National Weather Service uses for its official Phoenix readings, didn’t get any measurable rain, but the storm system knocked the temperature down from 108 degrees at 9:50 p.m. to 88 degrees at 11 p.m.

It was the first time the temperature in Phoenix fell under 90 degrees since July 9.

The last time rain was measured at the airport was March 22, a span of 126 days.

Earlier, Phoenix reached 118 degrees, breaking the record for the date of 116 set in 1995.

It was the 14th day of 2023 reaching at least 115 degrees, tying the record for a year set in 2020.

Will this still be the hottest month in Phoenix history?

Phoenix is pacing for its hottest month in history and it seems almost guaranteed to happen.

“Unfortunately, this was just a very brief cool-down. We are back into the oven today. High temperatures this afternoon will be up around 116 degrees,” O’Malley said.

The average temperature for July was 102.9 degrees as of Tuesday.

The hottest month in Phoenix was August 2020, when the average was 99.1 degrees.

An excessive heat warning has been in effect in Phoenix since July 1 and has been extended several times.

It’s scheduled to end Friday evening.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this story.

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Thousands lose power, parts of metro Phoenix get rain in first monsoon storm of season