MOST ACCURATE FORECAST: Big winter storm set to hit Arizona this week

Posted at 5:39 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 00:13:49-05

PHOENIX — Winds are cranking up across Arizona ahead of our next big winter storm.

Wind Advisories are in effect across parts of northern Arizona through Tuesday evening. Wind gusts could top out near 55 mph along the Mogollon Rim and in the White Mountains.

Valley wind gusts will peak near 25 mph Tuesday and Wednesday.

A few snow showers are already developing in the high country. More significant and widespread snowfall is expected Tuesday night into Wednesday as the core of the storm moves through.

Snow levels will fall to around 4,000 feet by Wednesday morning.

We could pick up 1 to 4 inches of snow above 4,000 feet, 4 to 8 inches of snow above 5,000 feet, and as much as 8 to 16 inches of snow in spots above 7,000 feet.

Travel will be hazardous across the high country, especially Tuesday night and Wednesday with the potential of blowing snow and reduced visibility. So, use caution or avoid travel if possible.

Here in the Valley, we could see a few spotty showers on Tuesday, but our best rain chances come Wednesday morning.

With the rain potentially impacting the morning commute and kids at bus stops across the Valley, Wednesday will be an ABC15 Weather Action Day. Take action to prepare for the rain now.

We could pick up around a quarter of an inch of rain in some Valley locations, with as much as a half an inch of rain in the foothills to our north and east.

As the cold air arrives Wednesday morning, we could even get a dusting of snow on some of the mountain peaks just north and east of the Valley.

There's also a slight chance we could see some thunderstorms in the mix. If we do, there's a chance we could see some graupel, too. (That's a softer version of hail, also sometimes called snow pellets.)

As this storm moves in, temperatures are plummeting. We'll be more than 20 degrees cooler by midweek than we were this past weekend.

After hitting 80 degrees on Sunday, we topped out in the low 70s across the Valley today. We'll drop to the upper 60s tomorrow and then to the upper 50s on Wednesday.

Overnight lows will get colder, too. Phoenix will drop to near 40 degrees by Thursday morning, putting much of the rest of the Valley in the 30s.

Temperatures should stay above freezing across the Valley, but we are expecting deep freezes across the high country with many spots in the single digits by Thursday morning.

We'll dry out and start to warm up again by the end of the week as this storm heads east.

Expect highs back in the 70s again over the weekend across the Valley.


2022 Rainfall totals:

Sky Harbor Official Rainfall: 0.12" (-1.36" from average)

Valley Average (Phoenix Rainfall Index): 0.17"


2021 Rainfall totals:

Sky Harbor Official Rainfall: 5.58" (-1.01" from average)

Valley Average (Phoenix Rainfall Index): 7.16"

Daily rainfall reports from all across the Valley can be found here.


Average Monsoon Rainfall in Phoenix (1981-2010): 2.71" of rain

NEW Average Monsoon Rainfall in Phoenix (1991-2020): 2.43" of rain

Average Yearly Rainfall in Phoenix (1981-2010): 8:03" of rain

NEW Average Yearly Rainfall in Phoenix (1991-2020): 7.22" of rain

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