Monsoon storm brings dust, rain and lightning to Valley

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by Meteorologist Royal Norman

Bio | Email | Follow: @RoyalNorman

azfamily.com

Posted on July 8, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 9 at 11:47 AM

PHOENIX -- Monsoon storms brought dust, rain and lightning to parts of the Valley Tuesday evening.

A Dust Storm Warning was in effect for the Phoenix area for most of the evening.

3TV crews tracked the storms as rain fell in many parts of town.

Other areas of the state were also hit by severe weather, including Flagstaff, where residents saw hail and mudslides. In fact, The National Weather Service says two inches of rain fell on east Flagstaff, along with a quarter-inch of hail.

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The National Weather Service in Phoenix has issued a Dust Storm Warning until 10 p.m. Tuesday evening.

The affected area includes, the Phoenix metropolitan area -- Downtown Phoenix, Chandler, Sun Lakes, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Apache Junction, and Tempe.

Wind gusts could reach 30 to 40 mph.

Visibility could be less than 1/4 mile due to strong outflow winds and blowing dust.

Sudden drops in visibilities due to blowing dust will create hazardous travel conditions.

Blowing dust is hard to see coming at night so travelers need to be ready for rapidly changing road conditions.

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Chopper 3 is unable to fly because of the strong winds.

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PHOENIX -- It looks like the monsoon will be ramping up across Arizona over the next couple of days. That includes metro Phoenix.

While an abundance of the storms will be in the mountains and in southern Arizona, the Valley has a decent chance over the next 24 hours of getting some rain.

A dust storm is a possibility as well. A monsoon weather pattern will continue into the weekend. Each day will bring varying chances of afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms across the region.

Tuesday through Thursday appear to be a bit more favorable than over the upcoming weekend as drier air from the west may begin to move into the region

For the lower deserts, the favored area for storm formation will be across south-central Arizona. Given the lack of forcing and any consequential disturbances in the upper flow, along with the weak upper wind field and weak steering flow, it appears that we are setting up for a day where convection is driven largely by boundary interactions.

Storms will fire initially over the higher terrain of eastern Arizona, then drift slowly westward or towards the northwest. And they will send outflows into the lower central deserts. Boundary interaction will then spur new convection, and storms will be isolated to scattered, and somewhat hit or miss.

Potential for locally heavy rain is there, and probably heavy rain will be more of an issue than strong gusty wind, although a wet micro-burst is certainly possible.

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