Photos: Overnight storm brings rain, morning haze and airport delays


by Mike Gertzman

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 16 at 6:17 AM

PHOENIX -- Monsoon storms rolled through the Valley overnight. The storms brought rain, thunder and plenty of lightning.

Parts of the Valley, from central Phoenix to Ahwatukee, got heavy rain. Enough rain fell in some areas to cause street flooding. More than 1.5 inches of rain fell in Maricopa, Ariz. The north side of the Valley, including Scottsdale and all the way to the northwest side of town, barely got any rain.

A power outage around 7th and Glendale Avenues was likely caused by the storm. That neighborhood was dark and the traffic lights were not working. More than 1,000 SRP customers were left without electricity. Utility crews went to work on the problem right away and the power was quickly restored.

The most severe weather was seen in the town of Maricopa, Ariz. where lightning hit a house at about 3:00 a.m. and caused a fire.

Lightning sparks house fire in Maricopa

The streets were dry by morning, but the sunrise revealed a very hazy sky. Tower cameras and ADOT traffic cameras that normally show miles of visibility were only offering very limited views on Wednesday morning.

Visibility was so poor that there were flight delays at Sky Harbor Airport. Airport officials reported delays of 10 to 20 minutes.

The air was so thick that it appeared to be filled with smoke, fog or smog. But 3TV meteorologist April Warnecke explained that it was actually dust suspended in the air because it was hanging on to all the moisture particles that came with the overnight rain.

Also, the Valley cooled off overnight creating an inversion that trapped all of that particulate pollution near the ground.

Temperatures around the Valley dropped into the 80's for the first time in several days. The National Weather Service has canceled the Excessive Heat Warning a day before it was set to expire.

With more moisture coming into the Valley this week, we could some much more monsoon storm activity over the next few days.

The forecast high for Wednesday is 106 degrees -- the first day in the past 10 days that the high will be below 110 degrees.

Check the high temperatures around the Valley

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