Thunderstorms hit parts of Valley, but Phoenix’s official dry spell continues

Aug 8, 2023, 7:54 AM | Updated: Aug 15, 2023, 6:48 am

Storm clouds can be seen as commuters drive on the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway in Tempe, Arizona,...

Storm clouds can be seen as commuters drive on the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway in Tempe, Arizona, on Tuesday morning, Aug. 8, 2023. (Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)

(Arizona Department of Transportation Traffic Camera)

PHOENIX — Thunderstorms hit the Valley on Tuesday morning, but Phoenix’s official dry spell continued after rain bypassed most of the metro area.

The heaviest activity was in the East Valley, which saw rain, lightning and strong wind gusts. Pockets of Chandler and Scottsdale received more than a half-inch of rain.

Several thousand customers woke up without power in Ahwatukee and Mesa, according to SRP’s outage map, but it’s unclear if the issues were due to the storms. Power was restored to most of the impacted customers by 8:45 a.m.

The system was moving out of the Valley by around 7 a.m., meteorologist Isaac Smith with the National Weather Service in Phoenix said.

“We’re starting to see those storms starting to push toward the east-northeast and out of the Phoenix area,” Smith told KTAR News 92.3 FM. “We’ll still continue to see a few lingering showers, a few lingering rumbles of thunder through the next couple of hours.”

Storms bypass Phoenix as city’s rainless streak continues

The rain missed Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, which the National Weather Service uses for the city’s official measurements, by a few miles.

Phoenix hasn’t seen measurable rain since March 22, a streak that entered its 138th day Tuesday.

The city’s record rainless stretch is 160 days in 1972, a mark that would fall if the current dry spell last through the end of August.

Why this could be a historically dry monsoon season

The rainless streak includes, to this point, the entire official monsoon season, which runs from June 15 to Sept. 30.

The latest rain was measured for the first time in a monsoon season was Aug. 14 in 1995. The city finished with 3.5 inches that season, making it one of the 20 wettest monsoons on record.

National Weather Service started keeping records for Phoenix in 1896.

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

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Thunderstorms hit parts of Valley, but Phoenix’s official dry spell continues