Phoenix sets new rainfall record with winter storm bringing wet, windy weather to Arizona
PHOENIX - Parts of Arizona had wet and windy weather Friday, with rain falling on desert cities and snow in Flagstaff and nearby mountains.
The state Department of Transportation warned drivers that rain in metro Phoenix would produce wet and slick road conditions. Light to moderate rain was forecast for the Tucson area in southern Arizona.
According to the National Weather Service's Phoenix office, the city received 0.94" of rain on Dec. 24, breaking the previous record of 0.93" that was set in 1944.
"This also makes today the wettest day since February 22, 2020 when 1.04" fell," read a portion of the post.
Meanwhile, a Dense Fog Advisory was issued for the Phoenix area on Christmas morning
NWS officials say a few additional showers pushed the rainfall total to exactly one inch on Christmas Eve.
"This is the 11th time that Phoenix has reached 1" or greater rainfall in December," read a portion of the tweet.
A flash flood watch was issued for Kingman and other areas in Mohave County in northwestern Arizona through Friday afternoon due to rainfall over a wildfire burn scar in the Hualapai Mountains.
The National Weather Service said Flagstaff could get up to 5 inches (13 centimeters) of snow Friday, with higher totals expected at higher elevations in the region.
Arizona Snow Bowl, a ski resort in mountains overlooking Flagstaff, reported getting 11 inches (28 centimeters) of snow overnight.
MORE: 7 cities where a white Christmas might seem impossible, but it isn't
Gusty winds up to 40 mph (64 kph) were forecast in southeastern Arizona and in east-central Arizona, where winter storm advisories were issued for the Mogollon Rim and White Mountains.
Rain hits Phoenix as people travel for Christmas Eve
In the Phoenix area, rainy weather caused wet roadways and slick surfaces. The rain, however, also caused flooding at various locations, like 48th Street and Warner in Ahwatukee.
Despite the rain, last minute travelers say they are not letting the weather get them down.
"Life is good. I love the rain. I am feeling awesome. Tomorrow is a great day. I am alive, so I am thankful to be alive. Look at the glass half-full," said one person.
Some are not even wearing rain gear.
"I am an Arizonan. Who needs a jacket?" said another person.
Officials also urge travelers heading to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport to check their flight status as the storms could affect their holiday travel plans.
RELATED: Delta, United cancel dozens of Christmas Eve flights amid omicron surge
The Associated Press (AP) contributed to this report.
You can check the latest weather conditions by visiting the FOX 10 Phoenix weather page, or download the Free FOX 10 Weather app, which is available on Apple iOS and Android.
- Call 511 anywhere in Arizona or 1-888-411-ROAD (7623)
Leave prepared before heading north
The Arizona Department of Transportation is reminding drivers who are heading north to never park along highways to play in the snow.
Use the highway shoulders for emergencies only. Parking on them to play in the snow is hazardous in the following ways:
- Other drivers may be distracted by your vehicle.
- Other drivers may pull over as well to play in the snow, compounding the problem.
- Your vehicle may interfere with first responders who need to use the shoulder.
- Plows can throw snow and ice far off highways.
- It’s much safer to re-enter highways from on-ramps and other designated entrances
"Also, it’s not uncommon for lots of desert dwellers to take the opportunity to head north to play in the snow. So, remember to pack your patience and expect to spend extended time in your vehicle getting to and from snow play areas."
ADOT's suggestions for items to take along:
- Warm clothing and blankets
- A fully charged mobile phone and charger
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Drinking water
- Healthy snacks
- First-aid kit and necessary medications
- Ice scraper
- Small bag of sand or kitty litter for wheel traction
- Small folding shovel for snow removal
- Travel tool kit and battery cables
- Safety flares
- Plastic bags or containers for sanitation
- Road map(s)
ADOT says you and your vehicle must be prepared for driving in wintry conditions, including snow, ice and freezing temperatures.
- Get plenty of rest
- Plan your route in advance and notify someone about your route, destination and arrival time
- Take frequent breaks from driving
- Make sure your fuel tank is at least half to three-quarters full at all times
- Use snow tires, chains or studded tires as recommended or required. Studded tires are permitted on Arizona highways from Oct. 1 to May 1.
- Ensure your wipers, window defroster, headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals work
- Change your motor oil to a winter grade
- For electric or hybrid vehicles, be sure the battery has sufficient voltage and the connection cables are tight
Get more safety tips at https://azdot.gov/KnowSnow
For Flagstaff area snow-play locations, see FlagstaffArizona.org's Winter Recreation Map or call 844-256-SNOW.
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