Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Nov. 17-19

Nov 19, 2023, 6:00 PM

rain can be seen falling in Phoenix...

Scattered storms crossed parts of the Valley early Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, putting an end to a long two-month rainless streak. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.

Next round of metro Phoenix storm activity could include heavier rain, lightning

Thursday’s scattered showers and drizzles dropped a total of .09 inches at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the first measurable rain there since Sept. 12. NWS uses weather gauges at the airport for its official Phoenix records.

Thursday’s rain brought the yearly total in Phoenix to 3.12 inches, about 3 inches below normal for this time of year.

Will there be rain in Phoenix area for Thanksgiving?

The clouds are expected to move out by Sunday, leaving clear skies and comfortable temperatures, with highs in the 70s, at least through Thanksgiving Day.

Arizona mostly holds ground, but plant hardiness zones get major national adjustments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “plant hardiness zone map” was updated Wednesday for the first time in a decade, depicting the impact climate change will have on gardens and yards across the country.

Although changes are substantial in some regions of the country — Southern staples like magnolia trees and camellias may now be able to grow without frost damage in once-frigid Boston, for example – in Arizona and the Southwest, changes are limited.

3-year-old girl found safe 7 hours after wandering away from family in rural Arizona

A 3-year-old girl who wandered away from her family in rural Arizona on Thursday afternoon was found safe more than seven hours after she went missing, authorities said.

Deputies and U.S. Forest Service officers responded to an area 15 miles north of Globe in Tonto National Forest after a 911 caller reported the child missing around 4:50 p.m., the Gila County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

The reporting party said the girl got out of a stopped vehicle about 30 minutes before the call and couldn’t be found.

Jane Doe found dead in Apache Junction over 30 years ago identified as missing Phoenix teen

An unidentified girl who was found dead more than 30 years ago in Apache Junction has finally been identified, authorities announced Thursday.

The body was identified as 15-year-old Melody Harrison, a freshman at South Mountain High School, who was reported as missing from Phoenix in 1992, the Apache Junction Police Department said.

Woman dies after her vehicle crashes into palm tree in Goodyear

A 28-year-old woman from Phoenix died after her vehicle crashed into a palm tree in Goodyear Friday morning.

According to the Goodyear Police Department, the one-vehicle incident occurred at the intersection of N. Litchfield Road and W. Palm Valley Boulevard.

The driver of the vehicle, Breanna Moreno, died at a nearby hospital as a result of injuries she sustained in the crash.

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Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from Nov. 17-19