Rain and hail pound Phoenix area; more storms on the way

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PHOENIX -- More storms are making their way through Arizona, bringing heavy rain, high winds and hail to many parts of the Phoenix-metro area.

It's looking like a mixed bag of weather today, with alternating sunshine and cloudy skies. Gusty winds and hard rain and hail, similar to what we saw Monday, will continue to pound the Valley.

The National Weather Service has issue a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for central Arizona. That watch will remain in effect until 7 p.m.

The first storm cell swept through Central Phoenix at about 12:30 p.m. Rain and winds were so heavy that officials at Sky Harbor International Airport had to stop departures and delay arriving flights for about an hour.

The airport resumed operations at about 1:30 p.m. Between 40 and 50 planes were lined up for departures as arrivals were coming in. The deputy aviation director said everything was running slower than usual because the planes need to stay relatively far apart due to the weather.

The storm dropped hail, some pieces as big as golf balls, and toppled trees all over the Valley. At the 3TV studios, the temperature dropped from about 85 degrees to 57 in just 15 minutes.

In West Phoenix, the Interstate 10 underpasses at 67th Avenue flooded, snarling traffic in both directions. By 2 p.m., much of the water had dissipated and more lanes were getting through.

While that first cell passed relatively quickly, it was destructive and more could be on the way.

Approximately 40 poles in southwest Mesa fell during the storm, damaging 20 to 30 homes. Residents were evacuated and one minor injury was reported. The Mesa Fire Department is assessing the damage.

SRP reported 19,000 people were without power at about 2 p.m.

A broad area of low pressure on the West Coast is what's causing this. The circulation is drawing moisture from the south into Arizona. There's enough moisture and instability to spark more showers and thunderstorms throughout the day and into Wednesday.

Plan on a high of just 87 degrees Tuesday. That chance of showers and thunderstorms will continue tonight. The overnight low will be about 67 degrees.

We're looking at another chance of showers tomorrow during the day. Things should start clearing out by Thursday, but our daytime highs will likely stay below normal through the weekend.