Wet storm expected for Thanksgiving - East Valley Tribune: News

Wet storm expected for Thanksgiving

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Posted: Monday, November 24, 2008 10:00 am | Updated: 8:54 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A wet storm is approaching in time for one of the year's busiest travel days, and meteorologists are narrowing down their predictions about the intensity and timing.

As much as an inch of rain could fall on parts of the Valley on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, with most places receiving at least a quarter-inch. There is a slight chance of thunderstorms, as well.

In the higher elevations of northern Maricopa County, there could be isolated rainfall totals of 2 inches.

Weather could cause delays for crowded inbound and outbound flights at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. On the day before Thanksgiving, an estimated 140,000 passengers will travel through Sky Harbor, about 35 percent more than a typical Wednesday.

"We always recommend that you check flight status before coming to the airport, whether you're traveling or picking up a passenger," airport spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez said. "Even if weather isn't affecting flights in Phoenix, weather in other parts of the country may affect flights here."

The weather service said it expects the precipitation to arrive in the Valley around Wednesday afternoon, then linger into Thanksgiving morning.

According to climatological averages, the city receives rain on Thanksgiving one out of every 12 years.

Whenever the rain falls, this will be the first measurable precipitation in Phoenix since Aug.31. September and October were totally dry for the first time in 35 years, and only the fifth time in the recorded history of Phoenix, the weather service said.

Arizona's mountains might receive several inches of snow beginning Wednesday, with the snow level dropping to about 6,500 feet.

This cold front also will drop temperatures to levels slightly below average for late November. In the Valley, highs on Thanksgiving will be in the upper 60s.

Monday's high was 82 degrees - 10 degrees above average and the 12th straight day with a warmer-than-normal high.

Today's forecast calls for considerable cloudiness and a cool-down, with highs in the mid-70s.

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