Rain and snow Monday night, followed by a drop in temperatures

PHOENIX – After a beautiful weekend in the 70s in Phoenix, a slow-moving cutoff storm will scoot across northern Mexico over the next 36 hours, bringing Arizona good chances of rain and snow.

The system will keep temperatures lower than normal statewide through Thursday. Skies will clear midweek, and temperatures will be back in the 70s by the weekend.

Doppler radar at 2 p.m. Monday showed heavy rain and thunderstorms across Yuma County and a few smaller showers in western Maricopa County. As the storm pushes east, widespread rain will begin to fall in metro Phoenix, along with possible thunderstorms and some small hail.

The best chance for thunderstorms will be across southern Arizona, closer to the core of the storm. Most of the rain will fall during the overnight hours. Slight chances will persist through Tuesday morning, but sunshine is expected in the afternoon.

Yuma County and the higher terrain east of Phoenix will see the highest rainfall totals, up to an inch. Some minor flooding is possible. Snow showers above 6,000 feet will begin Monday night and above 5,000 feet Tuesday morning.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from 5 p.m. Monday to midnight Wednesday for areas near Alpine, Forest Lakes, Heber-Overgaard, Pinetop-Lakeside, Show Low and Whiteriver. Two to 6 inches will be possible from Flagstaff and along the Mogollon Rim. Elevations above 8,000 feet could see as much as 10 inches of snow.

The storm will move out Wednesday, leaving some cooler air behind. Temperatures will fall 10 to 15 degrees below seasonal normals, which is 70 degrees for Phoenix. Highs on Tuesday will be in the mid-50s across Maricopa County and in the mid-60s along the Colorado River. Temperatures should return to normal by Friday.

Low temperatures across the high country will fall into the teens Wednesday morning, with afternoon highs rebounding into the 30s and 40s. Tucson will touch the upper 30s Tuesday and Wednesday morning, before afternoon highs climb into the 60s for the rest of the week.

Another storm could impact the state next weekend, but it’s too early to tell the exact timing and precipitation chances. Current forecast models show northern Arizona will see more snow next weekend.

Sustainability Reporter, Phoenix