Phoenix Records Wettest October Ever as Surprising Storm Soaks the Valley

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phoenix rain total

UPDATED 8:20 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 — On Friday, the National Weather Service predicted a few tenths of an inch of rain for the Phoenix Metro Area over the weekend. By 6:52 p.m. Saturday, Sky Harbor Airport had recorded 2.19 inches, adding to Rosa’s rains earlier in the month to make this October the wettest ever for the city, at 5.32 inches so far. It’s also the 4th wettest month ever, period.

Meanwhile, more than 2 inches had fallen in several areas of the Valley, with 3-plus inches recorded at South Mountain and another gauge in Estrella Village. North Phoenix got notably, less — under an inch — but still significant amounts. [See local totals below.]

What happened? A storm system moving in from the Pacific and across California interacted with moisture left behind by the remnants of Hurricane Sergio, to create a system that was “a bit more dynamic as it came through,” than was expected, said Paul Iniguez, meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Phoenix.

Sergio’s disorganized remnants were long gone before Saturday’s heavy rains came. “What [Sergio] did do is help put some moisture in place,” Iniguez told North Phoenix News. Then a couple of “waves” in the atmosphere interacted to usher in the significant downpours.

North Phoenix Bubble?

Among the local rainfall totals for this storm, as of 8:20 a.m. Sunday:

  • Tramonto: 0.83 inches
  • Sonoran Foothills: 0.83 inches
  • Norterra: 0.71 inches
  • Anthem North: 0.67 inches
  • Anthem West: 0.67 inches
  • New River: 0.71 inches
  • Desert Hills: 0.79 inches

At Sky Harbor, the total rain for the calendar year so far is 8.72 inches, or 2.55 inches above normal, the NWS said. Already last week, officials said the state’s long-term drought had eased notably.

Sunday’s forecast calls for isolated showers and thunderstorms in the morning, then partly sunny by afternoon with a high near 75.

Flooding Images

Several roads and freeways in the Valley flooded Saturday, with some closures. At about 1:30 p.m., ADOT reported “Multiple crashes at various locations along on Interstate 17,” noting at least six separate crashes between New River and Flagstaff. The crashes had been cleared by mid-afternoon Saturday.

Sunday Fog

This article first published Sunday, Oct. 13.


 


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Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.

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