Phoenix slides into 2024 with bouts of rain, near-freezing temperatures in forecast

Jan 2, 2024, 9:21 AM

Looking through a clear plastic umbrella on a rainy day...

Phoenix is expected to get its first rain of the year on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2023. (Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — After one of the hottest and driest years on record, Phoenix is in for a cold and wet start to 2024.

Multiple waves of rain are in the forecast, but the potential for near-freezing temperatures is National Weather Service meteorologist Gabriel Lojero’s primary concern.

“The bigger story is going to be [that] the cold temperatures are going to be settling in after these storm systems pass by,” Lojero told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Tuesday morning.

When is Phoenix expected to get first rain of 2024?

The first rain of the new year is expected to arrive Wednesday night, when there’s a 70% chance for precipitation. That should clear out by early Thursday after dropping less than 0.1 inches of rain.

Friday and Saturday are expected to be clear but chilly, with highs around 60 degrees and overnight lows around 40.

A stronger winter system that could deliver up to 0.25 inches of precipitation is expected to hit the Valley on Sunday. Once that clears out, the forecast calls for the coldest temperatures of the season.

“We may see highs in the 50s for the weekend and into next week,” Lojero said. “But then the overnight lows, we may see [low] temperatures near freezing across portions of the Phoenix metro area.”

This winter’s coldest temperature so far was 43 degrees on Dec. 27.

How much rain did Phoenix get last January and throughout 2023?

It’s shaping up to be the second consecutive active January for Phoenix. The city received more than a half-inch of rainfall on the first two days of 2023 and finished the month with more than an inch.

The wet start turned out to be an outlier for the year. Phoenix ended 2023 with just 4.21 inches of total rainfall, 3.01 inches below normal.

It was the 15th-driest year documented in Phoenix, according to National Weather Service records that date back to 1895. It was also the fourth-warmest year on record, with an average temperature of 77 degrees.

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

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Phoenix slides into 2024 with bouts of rain, near-freezing temperatures in forecast