Tropical Storm Hilary fizzles in Valley, but potential for rain lingers

Aug 21, 2023, 10:52 AM

A vehicle drives through a flooded road as Tropical Storm Hilary moves through Palm Springs, Califo...

A vehicle drives through a flooded road as Tropical Storm Hilary moves through Palm Springs, California, on Aug. 20, 2023. The storm had minimal impact in the Phoenix area. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – While Tropical Storm Hilary didn’t make much of a mark on the Phoenix area over the weekend, the potential for rain hasn’t passed.

Light showers passed through parts of the Valley on Monday morning, and activity could ramp up later in the day, Isaac Smith of the National Weather Service in Phoenix told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

“We will have the potential to see some additional thunderstorm activity later this afternoon, into the evening hours,” Smith said early Monday. “Some of those could be strong to even severe.”

The biggest threat is from potentially damaging winds, Smith added.

“It’s some of this moisture that’s associated with Hillary, but this would be more monsoonal related,” he said.

The conditions are expected to linger for several days.

“We’ll see some daily chances [for rain] through the rest of this week,” Smith said.

Cloud cover brings respite from extreme heat in Phoenix

Forecasters expected Hilary to bring anywhere from a quarter-inch to an inch of rain the Valley.

Instead, the storm’s impact was mainly cloudy skies that provided a welcome break from this summer’s nearly constant extreme heat.

Phoenix’s high temperature was expected to be in the 90s on Monday for the second time in three days. Until Saturday, the city hadn’t seen a high under 100 degrees since June 13.

Forecast highs are in the low 100s for Tuesday-Thursday, followed by clear skies and a return to the 110-degree range for the weekend.

What is rare tropical storm’s impact on other states?

The first tropical storm to hit Southern California in 84 years, Hilary dropped more than half an average year’s worth of rain on some areas, including Palm Springs, which saw more than 3 inches of rain by Sunday evening.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami downgraded Hilary to a post-tropical storm in its early Monday advisory but warned that “continued life-threatening and locally catastrophic flooding” was expected over portions of the southwestern U.S.

The National Weather Service warned of flooding in the Mount Charleston area west of Las Vegas. Forecasters said the threat for flooding in states farther north on was highest across much of southeastern Oregon into the west-central mountains of Idaho.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Tropical Storm Hilary fizzles in Valley, but potential for rain lingers