PHOENIX - Monsoon storms are beginning to pick up across Arizona, and the Phoenix metropolitan area is expected to get some rain this afternoon and evening.
The southeast Valley, including San Tan Valley, Apache Junction and the Superstitions, has already seen some wet weather. This area is predicted to receive the most rainfall today.
Gusty winds, blowing dust and short, heavy downpours are possible across the Phoenix area, with the highest chances for storms in north and south Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the Cave Creek area later in the afternoon.
Maricopa County rain data map: https://alert.fcd.maricopa.gov/alert/Google/v3/gmap.html
"June is usually the driest month climatologically for Arizona, and to get measurable precipitation in June, we're very, very excited and grateful for that," said Erinanne Saffell, Arizona State climatologist.
Arizona saw essentially zero recorded rain in April and May, except for Flagstaff.
"We actually live in an arid and semi-arid type of climate," Saffell explained. "We get about half of our precipitation in the summer monsoon season."
Regardless of your feelings about the start of the monsoon season, experts warn you to stay safe around any floodwaters or lightning storms.
All across the state, rainfall was marked at different levels on Saturday, but one thing is certain.
"Any little bit helps," Saffell says. "We’ve been in a very long-term drought. We’re still in a long-term drought."
Predicted rainfall totals in Maricopa County
Latest weather updates
- Call 511 anywhere in Arizona or 1-888-411-ROAD (7623)
Rain/flood safety tips
The American Red Cross' tips for heavy rain situations and flood safety:
- Turn around don’t drown! If you must drive and you encounter a flooded roadway, turn around and go another way.
- If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.
- Tune in to your local radio, NOAA radio, or news channels for the latest updates.
- If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly.
- Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe.
- If power lines are down, do not step in puddles or standing water.
- If power is out, use a flashlight. Do not use any open flame as alternate lighting.
Be prepared and stay safe during the monsoon
"Most Valley residents know how quickly and furiously storms can move in and out, bringing strong winds, dust, rain, and flash flooding. These storms can cause interruptions in services, such as water, power, and gas," stated Captain Ashley Losch of the Glendale Fire Department.
GFD reminds residents of ways they can be prepared and stay safe:
- Have flashlights with extra batteries on hand.
- Have food that can be prepared without the need for cooking or refrigeration.
- Have at least one gallon of clean water for each person in the household.
- Have backup power for anyone requiring power for a medical device.
- Have backup power for cell phones that do not require charging.
- Have a first aid kit ready and accessible.
- Never drive into areas with flowing water; it takes less than 10 inches to wash a car away.
- Avoid flooded areas, such as washes.
- If waters are rising, seek higher ground.
- Do not approach downed power lines, the ground can be energized for up to 200 feet.
- Keep pets indoors during storms.