(3TV/CBS 5/CNN) -- Record rainfall hit the Valley Tuesday, bringing flooded washes, hubcap-high water in the streets, school closures and multiple rescues.
[SPECIAL SECTION: Weather]
By noon, the National Weather Service said that 2.24" of rain had fallen on Phoenix since midnight.
Tuesday has now officially become the ninth wettest day in Arizona ever.
Rosa broke an over three-decade-old record for daily rainfall with 2.20" of rain by 10:50 a.m. The record was set in 1981 with .60" of rain.
The National Weather Service said in just two days, Phoenix Sky Harbor is already sitting at the second wettest October day on record.
Rosa, which was downgraded early Tuesday from a tropical storm, already has pounded the Northern Baja and Southern California desert regions, and the Mexican state of Sonora just south of the Arizona border.
Around 5 a.m., Rosa had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and was about 105 miles north of Punta Eugenia, Mexico.
Deadly flash floods and landslides possible
As it moves northeast, the storm will dump 2 to 4 inches of rain on much of Arizona, with up to 6 inches in the mountains. Flash flood watches are in effect for parts of Arizona, far southern California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and far southern Idaho, with the storm's remnants moving inland, the National Weather Service said.
"These rainfall amounts may produce life-threatening flash flooding," the hurricane center said. "Dangerous debris flows and landslides are also possible in mountainous terrain."
Historically, it's unusual for the US Southwest to get pummeled by a hurricane or tropical storm. But "these events have begun to increase in recent years," CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said.
Research indicates global warming contributes to tropical storms getting "more intense, bigger and longer-lasting, thereby increasing their potential for damage," said Kevin Trenberth, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
While there might not be a direct link between global warming and the recent increase of severe storms in the US Southwest, "it is possible that this could be a side effect of climate change," Norman said.
"Warmer oceans are allowing eastern Pacific storms to reach higher latitudes," he said. "This was not the case earlier. It was quite rare for an eastern Pacific storm to even reach Baja California, and this is now becoming more common."
Dangerous road conditions
The heavy rain and flooding created dangerous road conditions for commuters in Phoenix on Tuesday morning.
The flooding also closed several schools in the Valley, which included Desert Hortzon Elementary School, Rainbow Valley Elementary School, Rio Vista Elementary School and South Mountain Public Charter School.
Major roads were also affected by the flooding. They included Interstate 17 and Peoria Avenue and State Route 51 and Cactus Road.
Firefighters rescued several people from cars at the intersection of Tatum and Shea boulevards as the area was flooded.
[READ MORE: Flood Control District: Take this storm seriously]
The Arizona Department of Transportation advised drivers to slow down, avoid tailgating and sudden braking, and expect the unexpected.
Here are some other helpful tips from ADOT:
- Allow extra time to reach your destination safely; in heavy rain, consider delaying travel.
- Create a space cushion by reducing your speed and maintaining a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you.
- Avoid sudden braking, which can cause you to slide on the wet pavement. To slow down, take your foot off the gas pedal and brake slowly.
- Avoid areas where water is pooling in travel lanes; if possible, use center lanes and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.
- Stay alert for rocks knocked onto roadways by storm runoff on slopes.
- Before you drive, inspect your windshield wipers, and replace them if necessary.
- Turn on your headlights while driving.
- Be cautious of hydroplaning. This occurs when a thin layer of water accumulates between your tires and the asphalt and your vehicle loses contact with the roadway. You might suddenly feel your vehicle sliding or drifting because you’ve lost traction. If you feel you are hydroplaning, ease your foot off the gas pedal until you regain traction. Do not brake suddenly. If you are sliding or drifting, gently turn your steering wheel in the direction of your slide.
With the chance of thunderstorms and heavy rain this afternoon, our Flash Flood Watch continues through Wednesday morning. If you encounter a flooded roadway remember to turn around, don’t drown. #azwx pic.twitter.com/sF3dADq5EX— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) October 2, 2018
2.20" of rain now at Sky Harbor for the day. Still puts us at the 10th wettest day. #azwx— NWS Phoenix (@NWSPhoenix) October 2, 2018