Plentiful Rain and Snow for Arizona, Four Corners

By , Expert Senior Meteorologist
December 14, 2012; 8:40 PM
Share |
Play video While it wasn't a major storm, it was still a cold system hitting California. The storm delivered gusty winds, rain and mountain snow.

Rain is falling on the deserts and up to a couple of feet of snow will blanket the mountains of the Southwest into Friday night.

The storm that dropped southward across California at midweek with cold rain and mountain snow is turning east to end the week.

The storm continues to bring locally drenching rain to Southern California, as well as near-freezing temperatures with spotty rain and snow to the passes.

Travel along I-40 could be much more difficult for a time at the end of this week with heavy snow, gusty winds and poor visibility forecast for the higher elevations.

According to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark, "The storm will bring a plentiful amount of moisture to the deserts and mountains in the Southwest."

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Check out the probability here.

Rain and snow will break out and progress from west to east into Friday from the first storm, before another storm with rain and snow arrives over the weekend.

"In Arizona, from the first storm, the lower elevations will average between 0.25 to 0.50 of an inch of rain with up to an inch possible in lower elevations of the Rim Country," Clark pointed out.

Similar rainfall is expected in New Mexico.

As is often the case any time it rains in the desert and on the intermediate rocky hillsides, there is a risk of flash flooding.

Clark expects snow levels to dip between 5,000 and 5,500 feet with a foot or more of snow possible at elevations above 7,000 feet.

Snow will fall on the upper reaches of the Grand Canyon with this storm. (Photos.com image)

A few inches of snow will fall at elevations above 5,500 feet from Arizona to northern New Mexico.

However, the heaviest snow, perhaps up to a couple of feet, will fall on the mountains in southwestern Colorado.

Perhaps even before the snow from the first storm comes to an end, rain and snow will sweep into the Southwest from a second storm over the weekend.

At this time for the interior Southwest, it appears the second storm will not have as much moisture to work with, so precipitation will tend to be lighter and more spotty in nature.

The region has had a very dry autumn and any rain or snow will be highly welcomed from a hydrological standpoint.

As of Friday morning, the storm has delivered between 1 and 2 inches of rain in the San Diego area with an average of 0.25 to 0.50 of an inch of rain in the Los Angeles Basin.

"Prior to the storm's arrival, since Oct. 1, Phoenix has received only 3 percent of its normal precipitation, Tucson, Ariz. has had only 2 percent and even Flagstaff, Ariz. has picked up only half its normal rain and snow," Clark said.

Phoenix managed to pick up about 0.50 of an inch of rain from the storm Thursday night with about 0.60 of an inch falling on Tuscon.

Meanwhile, about 8 inches of snow has fallen on Flagstaff during Thursday night.

Comments

Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

  • Death Toll Rises From Hiroshima Landslide

    August 21, 2014; 4:20 PM ET

    Rescue efforts are underway in Hiroshima, Japan, after several landslides buried people and caused severe damage on Wednesday morning, local time.

Loading...

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A

WeatherWhys®

This Day In Weather History

Fayetteville, NC (1983)
110 degrees, all-time high for the state.

Pueblo, CO (1984)
State fair was closed during vicious hailstorm. Nine people were hurt, one seriously. Damage totalled $40 million, and 500 light bulbs were broken by the hail.

Thunder Bay/ Lake Huron, MI (1863)
"One of the most violent hurricanes (wrong name) experienced by mariners for many years swept over Lake Huron, doing extensive damage to vessels." Ships lost sails and had masts taken off 30 feet above deck.