Hurricane Marie may help trigger strong storms across Arizona

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- After a weekend of sunny skies and cooler than normal temperatures in the Valley of the Sun, the monsoon is ramping up in the new week.

As of Saturday, Phoenix Sky Harbor saw six consecutive days of temperatures under 100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. This is the longest streak for August since 1993.

That streak ended Sunday when Phoenix saw an afternoon high of 103. The normal high for this time of year is 104.

Daytime high temperatures are expected to drop again starting Monday as moisture increases in the atmosphere. By late Monday night and into early Tuesday, forecasting models indicate a very stormy period.

A trough of low pressure tracking in from the northwest is expected to pull deep moisture into Arizona from what is now Hurricane Marie. As of 2 p.m. Sunday, the National Hurricane Center reported Marie was a category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 160 miles per hour, 500 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja, and tracking northwest out to sea.

There may be enough instability and shear to trigger severe storms that include hail and damaging winds, especially in Northern Arizona Monday night through Wednesday morning. A round of flooding rains is also not out of the question for the Valley, as these storms will be slow movers.

Valley highs Monday and Tuesday will be in the 90s, with dew points expected to be in the 60s and 70s. Towards the end of the week, a northwesterly flow will dry up conditions and warm temperatures back up to triple-digit territory into next weekend.