Tornado Touches Down in the North Valley

UPDATED 6:52 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 — A bona fide small tornado swirled down and touched the ground near New River Monday, flinging debris into the air during an intense afternoon storm that drenched much of the North Valley and flooded roads.

“We can confirm a tornado occurred in North Phoenix,” the National Weather Service Phoenix office told North Phoenix News in a statement. “However, we are trying to pin down an exact location, and have to get out there and complete a survey in order to assign a strength.”

“I’m looking due West from the top of Circle Mountain,” said Fredda Psaltis, who shot the video above.

Cell phones in the region blared a rare tornado warning mid-afternoon and, separately a flash flood warning, all thanks to the remnants of Hurricane Lorena, which moved in off the Pacific near Baja California and continues lumbering through Arizona. Tropical systems are known to spawn tornadoes, at the shore and well inland. But not so often this far inland.

“Tornadoes in Phoenix are rather rare, but not unprecedented,” according to the weather service statement. “This is the time of year (the transition between Monsoon and fall) when they are somewhat more likely. Most tornadoes around here are brief and weak—and this tornado was indeed brief and weak. “
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By Tuesday morning, after multiple downpours, the storm had dropped 2 inches of rain in the Anthem area, New River and Lake Pleasant, and 1.5 inches inch in Tramonto, according to the Maricopa County Flood Control District. In Norterra and Sonoran Foothills, about half an inch came down.

And then there was this colorful treat Monday evening…

 

And, of course…

“We have multiple water rescues going on in our district,” Daisy Mountain Fire & Medical tweeted Monday. Other first responders got a workout, too.

Rain and showers are possible into Friday, with thunderstorms still in the NWS forecast for Anthem and vicinity:

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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