Rain chances move back into forecast - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Rain chances move back into forecast

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Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 8:57 am

We've now seen 67 days without measurable rain in the Valley. This prolonged winter dry streak has led to worsening drought conditions statewide.

The good news is there's some relief in sight with rain now in the forecast.

The subtropical branch of the jet stream continues to stream in quite a bit of cloud coverage as a weak disturbance jets through from Rocky Point.

We're still so dry at the surface that anything we see pop up on the radar will evaporate before making it down to the ground. Farther to our southeast, a few light rain showers will be possible in places like Nogales, Bisbee and Douglas.

Despite all of this upper level moisture, high pressure ultimately remains in control. So, temperatures will stay well above normal with highs in the upper 70s to low 80s across the Valley for the next few days.

Skies will stay partly cloudy through the middle of the week with early morning lows starting our days off in the upper 40s to mid 50s.

By Thursday, the first of two low pressure systems we're tracking heads in.

This system will be the weaker of the two with chances for showers staying confined to the high country.

Winds will ramp up across the entire state as it moves through, so look for peaks gusts approaching 30 mph in the Valley and 40 to 45 mph along the Mogollon Rim northeast to the Four Corners.

Friday night and Saturday will be the best chances for rain in the Valley as the second, stronger storm system arrives.

This one will track farther down the California coastline, pumping lots of moisture into our state before it arrives.

Right now, it's looking like a 50 percent chance of Valley rain late Friday, an 80 percent chance all day on Saturday and another 30% chance Sunday before we dry back out again.

Saturday looks to be a wet, gloomy day, so plan ahead now for this weekend. Big events like the Phoenix Marathon and Spring Training could be affected.

Things are looking slightly better on Sunday for NASCAR at PIR, but there is still a chance of showers lingering throughout the day.

Valley cities could see more than half an inch of rain over the weekend with the potential of up to an inch in the foothills and two inches in mountains north and east of the Phoenix metro.

Up north, it looks like a few inches of snow will be possible above 6,500 feet.

We'll also get in a big cool-down, bringing temperatures back down below normal for the first time in weeks.

Valley highs will only hit the low to mid 60s both Saturday and Sunday, with a warm-up back to the 70s next week.

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