System bringing cooler temperatures, possibility of rain to Phoenix area this week

Mar 13, 2024, 8:33 AM

Stock image showing gray storm clouds forming in the sky...

The Phoenix area has a 20-40% chance for rain Thursday and Friday, March 14-15, 2024. (Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – A weather system is expected to bring cooler temperatures and the possibility of rain to the Phoenix area this week.

“We’re going to see rain chances increase somewhat, especially late Thursday through Friday. Potentially, we’re going to see some scattered showers and maybe some isolated thunderstorms, as well,” Gabriel Lojero of the National Weather Service in Phoenix told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Wednesday morning.

The rain probability is about 20-40% from Thursday evening through Friday afternoon.

“Not everybody is going to see the showers; it’s going to be more scattered in nature,” Lojero said. “But these showers can have some thunderstorms with them, and these thunderstorms … will be capable of producing locally heavy rainfall, gusty winds … potentially up to 30 miles per hour, and then some small hail.”

Lojero said the rain totals will likely be less than 0.1 inches, with higher amounts where thunderstorms develop.

How will weather system affect Phoenix-area temperatures?

Wednesday’s forecast calls for a high in the middle 70s, with sunny and breezy conditions. When the system comes through Thursday and Friday, temperatures are expected to top out in the upper 60s — about 8-10 degrees below normal — with lows around 50.

“And then we’ll gradually warm up over the weekend,” Lojero said. “Highs are going to be in the lower to middle 70s, so still below normal, but a little bit warmer.”

Northern Arizona braces for snow

Meanwhile, portions of northern Arizona above 6,000 feet of elevation will be under a winter storm watch Thursday afternoon through Friday evening.

The Flagstaff area has a 60% chance of precipitation Wednesday, but it probably won’t be cold enough for snow except in elevations above 7,500 feet along the Interstate 40 corridor and toward the White Mountains.

“Then we’re going to pause a little bit tonight, and we have a much colder and stronger low coming down from the Great Basin, and that’s actually going to sit over Arizona for several days, perhaps as many as five or six days,” Benjamin Peterson of the National Weather Service in Flagstaff told KTAR News on Wednesday morning.

Peterson said the system could produce anywhere from about 4 inches to 1½ feet of snow, depending on the area.

“This low hasn’t actually formed yet, and once it does start to really spin up sometime late tonight, early Thursday morning, we’ll have a lot better idea of where those heavier bands are going to be,” he said.

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

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System bringing cooler temperatures, possibility of rain to Phoenix area this week