Phoenix weather: Winds kick up ahead of strong weekend storm

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- Winds will be gusty Thursday afternoon as the first of two storm systems tracks across Arizona.

Look for sustained speeds of 10 to 20 mph in the Valley with gusts of up to 25. We could see patchy blowing dust. In the mountains, gusts will range from 30 to 40 mph.

Showers are expected in the high country, but the Valley should stay dry. Look for partly cloudy skies with an afternoon high of 79 in Phoenix. This system should be out of here by Thursday evening.

The second storm system will be much stronger than its predecessor. Winds will kick up again ahead of it Friday afternoon. This could bring the potential for more dust to kick up.

We’ll start to see the rain in the mountains during the early afternoon hours and it will spread from west to east.

By Friday evening commute time, we could see a few light showers in the Valley. The rain is expected to pick up and become heaviest during the overnight and early morning hours of Saturday.

Rain will continue throughout the day Saturday. Between Friday evening and Saturday night, models indicate 0.25 inch to full inch of rain in the Valley. In the mountains, high amounts of 1-2 inches are expected. Flooding is not expected to be much of an issue.

Thunderstorms are also a possibility both Friday night and into Saturday but the severe weather threat is low.

Snow levels in the mountains will be at 7,500 feet through Saturday morning then drop to 6,000 feet’ by Saturday evening. Between 1 and 5 inches of snow is expected between 6,000 and 8,000 feet through Sunday morning.

Temperatures will also tumble as cooler air filters into the state. Valley highs this weekend will only reach the mid to upper 60s.

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