Phoenix weather: Wild winter storm


by April Warnecke

Bio | Email | Follow: @AprilWarnecke

Posted on March 1, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 1 at 8:20 PM

PHOENIX -- The Valley ended its 70-day streak of dry weather with a wet and wild day of storms on Saturday.

The rain started light and steady Saturday morning, but by the afternoon, many Valley neighborhoods were dealing with strong winds, hail and heavy rain.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued on a strong cell that moved through the north side of town.

As of Saturday evening, the rain was still coming down and most rain gauges across town were showing a half to one inch of rain, with slightly less in the southeast Valley.

As of 7 p.m. Saturday, just over a half of an inch or rain had fallen at Sky Harbor Airport.

The storm moved in later than anticipated. With a bit of rain this morning and then a break in the clouds, we managed to warm it up to 71 degrees today.

That daytime heating was fuel for afternoon and evening thunderstorms that dropped rain, hail and even a few funnel clouds.

Snow levels have stayed fairly high in the high country. Flagstaff and other parts of Northern Arizona are under a Winter Weather Advisory Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Two to four inches of snow is expected in northern Arizona. More is expected in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona where a Winter Storm Warning is in effect until Sunday morning.

A few Major League Baseball spring training games were cancelled and the NASCAR race at Phoenix International Raceway was called early on Saturday because of the rain.

The NASCAR race on Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway has a better chance of sunshine, with only a 20 percent chance of lingering showers.

The storm should gradually exit Arizona Saturday night and Sunday with dry weather by Sunday night and a warm and dry week ahead.

Look for partly cloudy skies on Sunday with a high near 70 degrees. We'll be back in the 80s by midweek.