Dry conditions to yield with Newton bringing rain to Arizona

Posted: Updated:
(Source: National Hurricane Center) (Source: National Hurricane Center)
(Source: NWS Flagstaff) (Source: NWS Flagstaff)

Dry conditions prevalent across most of Arizona in recent days are expected to give way to showers and thunderstorms starting mid-week and running into Thursday.

The National Weather Service says locally heavy rainfall and flash flooding may occur in Arizona with the arrival of Hurricane Newton.

The Flash Flood Watch has been issued from 11 p.m. Tuesday to 11 p.m. Wednesday for Phoenix and surrounding areas.

The National Hurricane Center reported Monday that Newton strengthened Monday into hurricane status, and forecasters say Newton apparently will cross into south-central or southeastern Arizona Wednesday or Wednesday night.

According to the weather service's Tucson office, rainfall from the system likely will range between .5 inch and 2 inches through Thursday afternoon, with some locally heavier amounts exceeding 3 inches.

The models take the bulk of the heavy precipitation through southeast Arizona with the Tucson seeing the brunt of the rain and potential flooding.

"Still, it is very possible that portions of south-central Arizona, especially southern Gila County, could receive significant rains, said meteorologists at the Phoenix office of the National Weather Service.

Historically, there have only been four tropical storms to actually make it into Arizona, the last being Nora in 1997.

If you were in Phoenix back then, you may call remember that storm as "Nada Nora".

If you were in Yuma, you`d remember it as the wettest day on record. Almost 4" of rain fell on 25 Sep 1997; 3.98" actually, which is more than Phoenix`s wettest day of 3.30" on 8 Sep 2014 (where a tropical system also was in the mix).

"Will Newton bring us rain of this magnitude? Time will tell," NWS meteorologists said.

Moisture is expected to linger into next weekend with a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms.

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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