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Monsoon 2020: First storm chances in the forecast

Posted at 7:16 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 14:19:48-04

PHOENIX — It's been one of the driest starts to the monsoon on record, but that could soon change!

Monsoon moisture is flowing in and storm chances are going up across our state.

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Here in the Valley, scattered showers and thunderstorms could hit Thursday evening bringing gusty winds, pockets of heavy rain and dangerous lightning strikes.

According to the National Weather Service, the number of lightning strikes to-date across Arizona has been the lowest in the last 30 monsoon seasons.

We'll see much more lightning in the mix on Thursday statewide, so stay safe and stay inside if you hear thunder.

With the chance of wind gusts over 40 mph, we'll have to watch out for blowing dust too. Visibilities across parts of central Arizona could drop to a mile or less. If you get caught driving in a dust storm, remember to pull aside, take your foot off the brake and turn your lights off. Wait there until the dust clears.

Rain could help clear the dust as storms move through.

It's been 102 days since we last measured rain at Sky Harbor and now Phoenix could see its first measurable rainfall this monsoon season.

The average rainfall for the month of July is 1.05 inches in Phoenix, so we have a lot of making up to do.

We are also closely watching the burn scars across our state. It won't take much to cause flash flooding there. Flash Flood Watches are in effect for the Bush burn scar and the Bighorn burn scar areas on Thursday. We may see heavy debris flows coming downstream from those spots.