Of this series of winter storms to hit Arizona over the last few days, Nature may have saved the wettest for last.
Because of heavy rains expected in the Valley later today, the National Weather Service has issued a flood watch, effective from 5 p.m. through Thursday morning.
Forecasts call for as much as 3 inches of precipitation in the higher elevations to the north and east of the Phoenix area. Parts of the metro area could see about an inch of rain.
Since the first storm’s arrival in the Valley last weekend, rainfall totals range from 1.46 inches in north Scottsdale and 1.38 inches in east Mesa to 0.16 inches in northwest Tempe.
The official measurement, taken at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, is 0.19 inches.
The rain is expected to taper off starting Thursday morning, leaving behind clearer skies and colder nights. In the Valley’s chilliest areas, overnight lows could dip to near freezing levels.
Warmer and drier weather should return during the weekend, with daytime highs in the lower 60s. But the Weather Service’s long-range outlook is predicting a slight chance of rain around next Tuesday.