Strong storm on the way; First Alert Weather Day to come Tuesday

A strong spring storm is on the way to Arizona this week.
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:50 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 20, 2023 at 12:43 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -A mild and cloudy day is expected in the Valley today with a forecast high of 75 degrees. Big weather changes are on the way for the Valley and state starting tonight into tomorrow.

Tuesday is a First Alert Weather Day, with widespread showers expected. Valley temperatures will only peak in the 60s tomorrow, and breezy conditions can be expected as well. The strongest wind will likely occur with the passage of a cold front Tuesday night. Valley rain chances are at 50 to 60% Tuesday and Tuesday night. Most neighborhoods in the metro should pick up between a quarter and three-quarters of an inch of rain during this time. Showers could linger into Wednesday morning.

Rainfall amounts could be closer to an inch in upslope areas of Maricopa and Gila Counties, and in the high country, totals could be closer to 2 inches. A few isolated areas could even see 3 inches. A Flood Watch is in effect from Tuesday at 11 a.m. until Wednesday night for the potential for portions of southern and central Arizona to get heavy rain and flooding of rivers, creeks, and washes.

In the high country, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued from tonight through to tomorrow early afternoon, when 3-6 inches of snow is expected above 6500 feet. That’s from a separate storm system. Another round of rain and snow is on the way late tomorrow with the cold front and continues into Wednesday morning. Snow levels start near 6000 feet early tomorrow afternoon and will then climb to 7500 to 8000 feet, bringing rain that will lead to snowmelt.

Snow levels will drop again behind the front Tuesday night to nearly 5000 feet, and 4-8 inches of snow could fall above 6000 feet. Extreme caution is urged across the state this week as rivers and creeks will again rapidly rise.