Monsoon rains flood Valley of the Sun

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Sunday was anything but sunny in the Valley of the Sun as wet and wild weather wreaked havoc in many communities.

As much as one to two inches of rain were tabulated in gauges Sunday afternoon. Scattered monsoon storms, which fired up in the mid-morning hours, moved from mainly the southeast to northwest across neighborhoods like Chandler, Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa and Gilbert. Flooded roads and washes prompted numerous rescues of those stranded in vehicles.

Heavy rain and a potential for flash flooding continues to be the main threat from storms through this evening, but overall activity should diminish by tonight. A Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for all of northern Arizona, including Yavapai, Gila, Navajo, Apache and Coconino counties until 1 a.m. Monday.

The culprit behind the stormy weather is an upper level low pressure system that followed an unusual track last week as it moved from the east coast to Baja California Sunday. It tapped into deep monsoon moisture that was already pumping into Arizona from the south.

With all the rain and cloud cover, temperatures did not escape the 80s across the Valley Sunday afternoon, bringing quite a July treat for desert dwellers.

A significant drying trend will take place Monday as that low pressure lifts to the north. Showers and storms are still anticipated, but coverage will be noticeably less that what we’ve seen over the past few days.

Kids heading back to school in the Valley Monday can expect the day to start off in the upper 70s with mostly to partly cloudy skies. Afternoon highs should hit right around 100 with a 20 percent chance of isolated storms.

Low chances of isolated afternoon storms will remain in the forecast throughout the week. A warming trend is also expected with temperatures returning to above normal levels by Friday.